O.C. Residents Voice Concerns Over Mosquito Spraying

Orange county vector control officials are catching flack over the potential aerial targeting of mosquitoes, with some residents fearing it could pose serious risks to their health.

The vector control district's governing board is set to vote on a proposal April 21 that would give district manager Rick Howard authority to launch an aerial anti-mosquito campaign if necessary. But that idea does not sit well with many local residents, dozens of whom showed up last Monday at a Mission Viejo town hall to make their objections known.

"We don't trust the government," said Garden Grove resident Rebecca Nelson. She now runs an anti-aerial spraying group on Facebook that has generated local attention.

The county's top epidemiologist, Dr. Matthew Zahn, vouched for the safety of the chemical that would be used, known as Duet. That was not enough to assuage weary residents, however.

The county may not have much of a choice. In addition to the West Nile virus which killed eight in Orange County last year, vector control officials are increasingly worried about the spread of dengue, chikungunya and Zika. The potentially dangerous diseases are carried by the non-native Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti mosquitos which have already found their way into Orange County.

Read more about the concerns over a possible anti-mosquito aerial campaign here.

Image Credit: Flickr User 28481088@N00, https://flic.kr/p/3hPu3c via (CC BY 2.0)