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E-M:/ Attention: West Nile Virus Forum Location Change

Enviro-Mich message from "Mary La France" <mary.lafrance@mindspring.com>

News Advisory
For Thursday, April 3 2003

Mosquito Bucks And Bites Debated
Will Oakland County’s West Nile Plan Create More Killer Mosquitoes?

At 7:00 pm on Thursday, April 3, 2003 at The Southfield Reformed
Presbyterian Church in Southfield, Sierra Club will feature one of Wayne
State University’s premier infectious disease medical specialists who will
be joined by three leaders in the West Nile virus mosquito spraying
controversy. The discussion will center on Oakland County’s ambitious
mosquito control program—a plan to fund high-risk chemical spraying that may
be ineffective and could actually weaken our defenses to the disease.
Oakland County in 2002 was the epicenter of West Nile in Michigan, a state
with one of the highest rates of West Nile infection in the country.  The
disease killed 48 Michigan residents last year and public health officials
in Oakland County have a plan of attack this year. But is the plan more
hazardous to humans than the mosquitoes?   Will it really work? Or are we
laying the groundwork for creating a population of killer mosquitoes who
become highly resistant to chemical sprays? The program will focus on these
questions and possible alternatives to spraying.

Who:	Dr. Jack Ebright, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of
Infectious Diseases, Wayne State University; Ray Meeseman, Ray Meeseman
Company; Robin Hayes, Bat Conservation of Michigan, and; Laura Erpelding,
People Against Chemical Contamination Political Action Committee

What:    Southeast Michigan Group of Sierra Club program

When:   Thursday April 3, 2003 at 7:00 p.m.

Where:   The Southfield Reformed Presbyterian Church
         26550 Evergreen Road, Southfield, MI 48076
        (south of Eleven Mile on the east side of Evergreen)

Sixty-one communities in Oakland County are eligible for funding to
implement a mosquito control program to thwart the West Nile Virus. West
Nile is a mosquito-borne virus, carried by the Culex pipiens mosquito that
is commonly found in urban areas. Municipalities in Oakland County will be
using larvicide and mosquito traps to monitor mosquito breeding.  Biological
controls such as larvicides, will be used in catch basins and other areas
while "targeted" sprays will be applied if necessary, using malathion,
pyrethroids, Anvil and any number of other chemicals. Sierra Club has
serious concerns about the planned spraying.  It is believed spraying
natural areas and wetlands could threaten non-targeted organisms like birds
and beneficial insects.  Pesticide spraying often results in new generations
of pesticide resistant mosquitoes.  Entomologists question a spray-based
strategy that will likely kill a limited number of mosquitoes with
reinvasion of treated areas reoccurring within hours.

More Information:
Mary LaFrance

Carol Izant

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