September 22nd, 2003
To the Editor,
Technology abounds but we rarely review the science intended to guide it. Tax increases to combat WNV need to be better apportioned as per science rather than popular perceptions As WNV infects more persons in a benign (symptom free) fashion, the resulting increase in immunity will mean fewer deaths. However, that respite infers it is now prudent to depend upon preventive larvaciding as recommended by the CDC.
It is not unreasonable to assume those weakened by pesticide exposure would be more likely get severe forms of WNV. We all breath in the air purposely contaminated for our “protection”. Aerial spraying is best left to marshlands with few inhabitants; ground spraying to large pools of water where infected mosquitos are found with careful monitoring and no use of adulticides on city streets where prevention is the best way of ensuring the public health.
People become resistant to WNV but never adapt to poisons. Mosquitos do. Mosquitos cannot be eradicated, only controlled sensibly or at further cost to health and life. Testing for the relative effectiveness of alternatives such as garlic sprays, would be a worthy use of taxpayer monies if it will remove the use of toxic chemicals on a permanent basis.