The City of Columbus is changing its mosquito fighting policy in the midst of the worst West Nile outbreak in U.S. history.
More than 40 people have died across the country from the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said cases seem to be accelerating with each week.
This week, the city of Columbus confirmed two human cases of West Nile virus. As a result, the Health Commissioner is now ordering unprecedented measures.
Health officials said that they decided to ramp up mosquito spraying efforts, even for residents on the “do not spray” list.
“The commissioner made that decision because she believes the public is at risk of contracting West Nile,” Jose Rodriguez, of the Columbus Public Health Department said.
The decision caused some worry for residents.
“I like to reduce some of the toxins that we come in contact with,” Clintonville resident Maria Gentile said. “That just seemed like something unnecessary, so we decided not to have them spray.”
The couple is among some 300 residents on the “do not spray” list.
The City maintains it will follow EPA standards while spraying and that the chemicals are safe. Residents living in the no-spray zones will be receiving letters this week, and spraying in those areas will begin on Monday.
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