Does this Protect Public Health or Is It a Grand Hoax?

    This is an op-ed in the Davis Enterprise on August 13.  We question the shoddy "evidence" that public-health and vector-control officials have offered that spraying adulticides slows the transmission of WNV to humans.  Also, the district manager claimed that we were not at the peak this year, we note that actual data from this area from last year suggest that we are in fact at the peak of infections, and we note that the district manager thus tacitly admitted that there was no reason to spray.  Given that infected mosquito counts had gone to zero on the weekend before the spraying and that overall counts had dropped precipitously by 92%, we feel that abandonment of the previously sacrosanct criterion of "5 infected mosquitoes per 1000 trapped" demonstrates that the decision to spray Davis was a political one that had nothing to do with protecting the public health.  For additional reasons we oppose adulticide spraying, see our  addendum to the op-ed.  Also, you can read another Enterprise op-ed from August 13, 2006, “West Nile is Far More Risky than Aerial Assault,” and we post our response to it here.