LONGMONT, Colo. (CBS4) – Concerns are growing once again in Colorado about the West Nile Virus, but some people are calling for an end to the spraying that kills mosquitoes which might carry it.
Many residents at a packed city council meeting in Longmont on Tuesday night said they think spraying to kill mosquitoes is more dangerous than the virus itself.
On Friday and Monday the city executed a city-wide mosquito spraying effort to combat the spread of West Nile Virus after recent checks of mosquito traps determined there was a sharp increase in the population of the bugs in the city. City trucks went through the city on both days spraying a chemical called permethrin.
City officials said the spray is not toxic to humans, but health officials admit it could cause problems for bees and other flying insects.
“From all the evidence we’ve been given by the state health department it’s safe for humans,” city spokesman Rigo Leal said. “It attacks mosquitoes and leaves humans alone.”
Some residents said cases of West Nile Virus are few and far between and symptoms are usually mild, with deaths a rarity. They believe any toxic spray is dangerous.
No plans are in the works for future spraying in Longmont at this time.
MORE FROM DR. DAVE HNIDA’S BLOG: The Return Of West Nile
About 1 percent of people who contract West Nile Virus get a viral infection of the brain and the nervous system — in a few of these cases, damage such as weakness, numbness, headaches, etc., are permanent. The is no cure, and no specific treatment.