West Nile Moving Faster and Wilder

August 8th, 2003

To the Editor,

This article, (“West Nile Moving Faster and Wilder“) should have been named, “Propaganda about West Nile Moving Faster and Wilder”. Nation wide, the tragic deaths from WNV still do not qualify as an epidemic. It is a relatively mild disease compared with influenza which kills thousands every year in NYC alone.

FACT: West Nile Virus is here to stay.
FACT: Mosquitos cannot be eradicated.
FACT: Pesticides induce similar forms of illness as west nile virus since they act upon the central nervous system of life forms in vulnerable persons, the same persons at risk for WNV.
FACT: Spraying kills so few mosquitos in residential areas that their use appears to be a ruse to avoid liability on the part of government rather than a responsible measure. Spraying also kills mosquito predators. The most effective controls are larvicides, not adulticides and measures by property owners to remove standing water.
FACT: The CDC is committing medical malpractice by saying DEET is safe when used as directed. No pesticide (calling it repellant hides its true nature) is ever safe and vendors/applicators are forbidden by federal law from such claims.
FACT: An Audabon Society study showed most bird deaths are due to pesticides, not WNV.
FACT: Heavily sprayed areas of NYC and Suffolk country are showing lots of infected pools of mosquitos. Nassau County which does not spray, has none to date. Hmmmmmm……

The lack of science in the reporting of West Nile Virus data and modes of prevention is creating panic and a false sense of security in areas conducting spraying. Shame on reporters for not consulting toxicologists and epidemiologists who are aware of all the facts and have no conflicts of interest with regard to the pesticide industry or liability issues of municipalities.

Categories: NY Times

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