TD.C. Department of Health Interim Director Dr. Saul Levin released the following statement Aug. 22 on West Nile Virus in the District of Columbia:
"Since the beginning of the summer, the District of Columbia Department of Health (DOH) has identified the West Nile Virus in several mosquito samples throughout the District. Despite the positive samples, there has only been one confirmed (nonfatal) case of West Nile Virus in the District of Columbia. In an effort to reduce mosquito pools in and around homes, the residents of the District of Columbia should take proactive precautionary measures to prevent mosquito bites and subsequently transmission of the West Nile Virus. Please eliminate all standing water. Pay close attention to roof gutters, flush bird baths and store pet food and water bowls inside the home. The District of Columbia Department of Health does not spray aerosol applications for mosquitoes and has not done so in the past 20 years. The Department of Health will continue to sample the District's mosquito pools throughout the summer and early fall months."
The District of Columbia does not spray aerosol applications of pesticides for several reasons including:
· The District does not have authority to apply larvicide or adulticide products on federally owned properties.
· Aerosolized pesticides can trigger asthma and aggravate respiratory conditions. To lessen the negative effects of spraying, it would be necessary to have every person remain indoors for several hours after spraying.
· The Asian Tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus), a West Nile Virus vector, is a day flying mosquito. Application of pesticide sprays during the evening would have limited or no effect on this species.
· Broad-spectrum insecticides will kill many insects that are unintended targets.