Mount Hope Sprayed For Mosquitoes After Positive Zika Test
Tuesday, September 6, 2016
Aired 9/6/16 on KPBS Midday Edition.
Mount Hope To Be Sprayed For Mosquitoes After Positive Zika Test
Rebecca Lafreniere, deputy director, San Diego County Environmental Health Services
Dr. Eric McDonald, medical director, San Diego County Epidemiology and Immunization Services
Aired 9/7/16 on KPBS News.
County vector control workers began spraying part of the neighborhood after an area resident tested positive for the Zika virus. But not everyone was happy about it.
San Diego County vector control workers began spraying part of the Mount Hope neighborhood Tuesday in an effort to kill mosquitoes after an area resident tested positive for the Zika virus.
County vector control crews sprayed the area bounded by F Street on the north, Market Street on the south, Raven Street on the east and Quail Street on the west with Pyrenone 25-5 in an effort to kill adult mosquitoes.
According to the county, Aedes mosquitoes that can transmit Zika and other diseases were found after an area resident contracted Zika while visiting a country where mosquito-borne illnesses are prevalent.
"Travel to Zika-affected countries is common, and actions to prevent Zika from spreading to local Aedes mosquitoes are vital to inhibit locally acquired human cases of this disease," county Public Health Officer Wilma Wooten said.
But not everyone was happy about the move.
Some residents put up signs telling the county not to spray on their property. Because of the potential health threat, officials said they can come back with a court order, if necessary.
Resident Brad Michels said he was concerned about the spray and its impact on his pets, organic garden and daughter. He told 10News that county officials didn't alert residents until Saturday evening.
"The offices were all closed for the holiday," Michels said. "A lot of people in the neighborhood are gone because of the holiday, and then they come back to find out that they're spraying and they don't know what to do or how to go about stopping it."
Syd Stevens trailed county vector control workers with a bull horn.
"There is no local control in our own neighborhoods," Stevens said.
According to county officials, the pesticide poses low risks to people and pets, but residents in the area who want to minimize their exposure can take precautionary steps, including:
• staying inside and bringing pets indoors if possible
• closing doors and windows
• turning off fans that bring outdoor air inside the home
• covering ornamental fish ponds to avoid direct exposure
• rinsing fruits and vegetables from gardens with water before cooking or eating
• wiping down or covering outdoor items such as toys
• covering barbecue grills
"Unfortunately, finding any (Aedes mosquitoes) indicates the need for action," said Eric McDonald, epidemiology medical director at the county health department.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect the correct last name of the San Diego County Environmental Health Services deputy director. Rebecca Lafreniere was misidentified as Rebecca Lawson in the interview. We apologize for the error.
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