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From August 13, 2000

West Nile Virus Case Confirmed In New York

According to a Staten Island Advance article, Health Department officials on Saturday confirmed that a 73-year-old Westerleigh, NY woman recently contracted West Nile virus, prompting the city to add residential areas of the North Shore to its list of areas to be sprayed with Anvil™, the same synthetic pyrethroid used by New York City for mosquito control last year.

Opponents question whether an isolated case in one senior citizen warrants such widespread spraying, arguing that the treatment is more hazardous than the threat of the virus. "This quick-snap, command decision on the part of the Mayor's Office to start spraying is an overreaction and very dangerous," said Jerome X. O'Donovan, a Democratic candidate for borough president, who co-sponsored a bill in April with then-Republican South Shore Councilman Stephen J. Fiala to combat West Nile virus with pesticide alternatives.

"Of course nobody wants West Nile virus to affect any human being, but to take this scattered shotgun approach without any clear and convincing evidence that this is a public health emergency is overkill," said Democratic North Shore City Council Michael McMahon. The Democrats took particular issue with the short-notice schedule and whether spraying is the most effective method to destroy the virus.

"If you think about it from a medical pint of view, how unsound is the idea to douse a healthy population with pesticide when the only people who are likely to get West Nile are sickly or have an unhealthy immune system," said Manhattan Democratic Councilwoman Kathryn Freed. Anvil is an endocrine disruptor, and has been linked to asthma and breast cancer.

To view the article, click on http://www.silive.com/news/advance/index.ssf?/xml/story.ssf/html_standard.xsl?/base/news/9977112041536510.xml

For a information synthetic pyrethroids and Anvil™, click on http://www.beyondpesticides.org/infoservices/pesticidefactsheets/toxic/pyrethroid.htm