“Abundance of Caution” When NO Mosquitoes Test Positive Sets Toxic Precedent
24 Hour Notice Given With No Public Input – Who Decides?
“Although there has not been a confirmed case of any disease in this situation, we are taking appropriate steps to minimize potential risk and protect the public’s health,” said Dr. Sayone Thihalolipavan, the county’s deputy public health officer.
The San Diego Union-Tribune Reported today (8/18/2016):
County workers will hand-spray mosquito-killing pesticide throughout a two-block section of San Diego’s South Park neighborhood Friday after a resident who recently traveled abroad came home with Zika-like symptoms.
Medical testing has not confirmed that the individual, who has not been publicly identified, has Zika or any other tropical mosquito-borne infection. The individual recently returned from an unspecified location where the virus is active.
The county’s public health policy is to search for Aedes mosquitoes — the type known to carry Zika — around the homes of anyone returning with symptoms that indicate they may have a Zika infection. The routine search in this case, the county says, turned up Aedes larva nearby, a discovery that calls for spraying out of an abundance of caution.
“Abundance of Caution” Used As Justification As No Zika Infected Mosquitoes Found
The U-T also reports:
To date, no locally-trapped and examined mosquitoes have tested positive for Zika and the spraying effort is designed to keep the virus from reaching the airborne insects. Once mosquitoes are infected, Zika can spread more quickly as it has in Florida.
So San Diego County has decided to spray pesticides about a hundred homes around someone’s house who may not even have Zika but traveled to an area that does and might infect a local mosquito if bitten by one.
What Chemicals “Might” Be Sprayed:
CW6 reports additional precautions:
Stay inside and bring pets indoors if possible
Close doors and windows, and turn off fans that bring outdoor air inside the home
Cover ornamental fishponds to avoid direct exposure
Rinse fruits and vegetables from your garden with water before cooking or eating
Beekeepers and those with insects kept outdoors are encouraged to shelter hives and habitats during treatments
You may resume normal activities 30 minutes after the treatment
Vector Control will continue to conduct trapping for Aedes mosquitoes in the area and nearby locations for several weeks.
Information about chikungunya, dengue and the Zika virus can be found on the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.
Two types of Aedes mosquitoes – the Aedes aegypti, yellow-fever mosquito and the Aedes albopictus, Asian tiger mosquito – are not native to San Diego and don’t really like our climate. They were found in San Diego County for the first time in 2014 and 2015. To date, they have been found in relatively low numbers.
They differ from our County’s native mosquitoes in a number of ways. They not only live in people’s backyards, but also inside their homes, and can breed in a thimble-full of water.
They’re smaller than native mosquitoes, have distinctive black and white markings, are known as aggressive biters and – unlike our native mosquitoes that prefer to feed between dusk and dawn – like to bite and feed during daylight hours as well.
FOX5 Interviews Person In Question
An unidentified individual who traveled to Costa Rica & Guadalajara suffered from diarrhea, aches, pains and conjunctivitis. The results from his tests will not be available for another two weeks.
Is this really a good reason to spray a two block radius and set a precedent in Southern California to spray pesticides with less than 24 hour notice and no public discourse? Who decides? How does one RESIST?