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Daily News Archive
From June 15, 2000

New York State Health Commissioner Says Adulticiding Should Be Last Resort

According to Newsday, New York State Health Commissioner Antonia Novello said yesterday she was confident the state is "on top of the problem" of West Nile Virus (WNV) as health officials brace for this summer's viral season. Novello reiterated the state's position that spraying should occur only as a last resort, when there is an "imminent risk to human health," but she stressed that such decisions should be made at the county level based on a combination of all available surveillance data. Click here to read the complete article at Newsday.com.

Novello expressed optimism that increased efforts to destroy mosquito larvae and the state's "Fight the Bite" campaign, which encourages residents to rid their property of potential mosquito breeding sites such as water-filled bird baths, pool covers and old tires, will pay dividends in the battle against the virus. Also, due to recent findings there has been a de-emphasis on the health risks that WNV poses for children. For example, a new analysis of the West Nile outbreak published in the New England Journal of Medicine yesterday found that risk for severe illness was most closely correlated with increasing age. State health officials have now reserved the heightened risk category for those at least 50 years old.

Beyond Pesticides urges people to take steps around their homes and in their communities to eliminate mosquito breeding sites and therefore, minimize the possibility that officials will turn to spraying adulticides. For information about reducing breeding sites contact Beyond Pesticides at info@beyondpesticides.org or visit the Maryland Pesticide Network's website at http://www.mdpestnet.org/.