The Ada County mosquito abatement disaster declaration signed by the Ada County commissioners on June 13 starts the process of garnering support for and attention to the West Nile virus (WNV). This endeavor ignores the implications to the community regarding private property and the greater good. The premise is that because there exists a threat, we should aerial spray poisons over the community and their private property, to create a safer environment for all. It disregards the risks, and states that the benefits outweigh those risks. Do they? In researching that theory, we find that in the last 18 years in the USA, population 324,420,000, there have been 1,911 total deaths directly attributed to WNV (CDC). Similarly, as reported in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine 2013, among 13,033,274 vaccinated people, there were 15,455 deaths within 60 days of vaccination. Standardized to a per year rate, for WNV there is a .00003 percent chance of death. For a common vaccine, there is a .03953 percent chance. Aerial spraying poisons our land and homes, and is a call as taxpayers and citizens of this community to let our elected officials know that even they could agree, these numbers do not justify the risk.
Steve Comish, Boise