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San Mateo County Spraying Pesticide to Head Off West Nile Virus

| July 31, 2014
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Bay City News

A mosquito bite. (dr_relling/Flickr)

San Mateo County mosquito control officials sprayed for mosquitoes in a roughly square-mile section of East San Mateo Wednesday night to prevent the spread of West Nile virus.

Five dead birds that tested positive for West Nile virus were found in San Mateo in June and July, raising concern about the spread of the disease, according to the San Mateo County Mosquito and Vector Control District.

Two of the dead birds, both crows, were found in San Mateo on July 21 and 23. The other three were found in San Carlos, Portola Valley and Menlo Park.

The district also found mosquitoes carrying the virus in San Mateo on Friday.

The area around where the mosquitoes were found — in the 94402 ZIP code — was sprayed with a material identified as Zenivex E4 from trucks to try to stop the spread of the virus to humans, district officials said.

The fogging took place between 9 p.m. Wednesday and 5 a.m. Thursday.

West Nile virus is transmitted through mosquitoes and can be carried by birds, humans and horses.

The area sprayed is roughly bordered by East Fifth Avenue, state Highway 92, Shoreview Avenue, Palm Avenue, Concar Drive and Roberta Drive, according to the district.

The district will collect mosquitoes again once the fogging is complete. If West Nile is detected again, there may be more fogging.

West Nile virus is transmitted through mosquitoes and can be carried by birds, humans and horses. It is not transmissible from human to human.

Residents can help prevent the spread of the virus by using bug spray, eliminating standing water and calling the district if they notice mosquitoes.

The district also asks anyone who finds dead birds or squirrels to report them to www.westnile.ca.gov or by phone at 877-WNV-BIRD.

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Category: Environment

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  • SMresident

    I live in this area and had no notice of the fogging. My windows were open and I have a small child and I’m pregnant. I’m LIVID!!!! The county is irresponsible for not getting the news out early enough and efficiently. I will hold then responsive for any kind of issues that may arise from this exposure. Research shows that fogging is more harmful than the actual virus.

    • Kimberly Quach

      Several emails were sent via Nixle. https://local.nixle.com/san-mateo-ca-police-department/

      • Nick R.

        I only saw this on San Mateo Patch, and there were no e-mails sent to residents. Not everyone goes on the internet. A lot of my neighbors had no idea there was fogging until the truck drove by. I even saw people walking around the streets on there nightly walks and they had to walk through the fog. They could have at least done a reverse phone to all the houses, its not that tough to do that.

        • SM resident

          You’re not allowed to use reverse 911 to call homes unless it’s a true emergency. What source told you it isn’t that hard?

          • Nick R.

            It doesn’t have to be the reverse 911 calls. When election time is around you have politicians that call thousands of people via automated phone calls. Is it really that hard for a city to do that when politicians can do it.

          • Rick

            Politicians have an unlimited bank account. Do you really want your tax payer dollars going twoards notification to let you know public health officials are trying to prevent you from getting WNV? What would more notice allow you to do? Tarp your house? These people are in public health to protect us, unless you forgot.

          • Nick R.

            Yes they should be protecting us from West Nile but they should also protect us from the chemicals they use. I don’t give a F**k that they say it is safe for urban spraying. Its probably safe if your in the backyard where it is less dense then the street area. Would you feel safe walking by the truck 10 feet away when it is fogging? That’s what happened to two groups of people I saw on there nightly walks. They didn’t know about the fogging until the trucks pulled on the same street they were on.

          • Erica Messer

            My name is Erica and I live in Sunnybrae. Several of my neighbors and myself are suffering from upper respiratory problems that occurred 24 hours after the fogging. How can we stop this from happening again? I agree that the fogging is worse than the virus is. I want a choice! How do we start a petition?
            eriemesser@gmail.com

          • Erica Messer

            http://www.smcmad.org/board_meeting.htm

            the next board meeting is scheduled for the second Wednesday in September.

          • Erica Messer
          • Nick R.

            Erica… Did you contact them. My brother remembers reading some where that said if someone feels odd the next day they want you to contact them.

    • Jack

      Please show me the research that shows a small treatment is more harmful than WNV. Wake up!