Mosquito Spraying Debate

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Story Updated: Jul 8, 2013

.. officials may order aerial spraying to protect against the West Nile Virus... a potentially deadly disease that can be passed on to humans by infected mosquitoes.

But can the insecticide they use affect your health?

Researchers in California say not in the short term.

A UC Davis study analyzed emergency department records from Sacramento hospitals during and immediately after low-volume aerial spraying of the insecticide pyrethrin during the summer of 2005.

The researchers took that data and compared it to E-R visits in nearby areas not exposed to aerial spraying.

They looked at specific diagnostic categories including respiratory, gastrointestinal, skin, eye and neurologic diseases. all considered most likely to be associated with pesticide exposure.

The analysis found that exposure to aerial spraying was not associated with increased rates of emergency room visits for any of these conditions.

This is believed to be the first public health study on this topic...and while it concludes there's no short-term risk with aerial mosquito spraying, the researchers warn that the study did not address potential long-term health affects.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the news doctors are reading health news for healthier living.

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