Spraying efforts in Mount Hope neighborhood met by protest - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Spraying efforts in Mount Hope neighborhood met by protest

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8/CNS) - County vector control workers began spraying part of the Mount Hope neighborhood Tuesday in an effort to kill mosquitoes after an area resident tested positive for the Zika virus, but not everyone was happy about it.
   
The spraying was being done in an area bounded by F Street on the north, Market Street on the south, Raven Street on the east and Quail Street on the west.
   
According to the county, Aedes mosquitoes that can transmit Zika and other diseases were found after an area resident contracted Zika while visiting a country where mosquito-borne illnesses are prevalent.
   
"Travel to Zika-affected countries is common, and actions to prevent Zika from spreading to local Aedes mosquitoes are vital to inhibit locally acquired human cases of this disease,'' county Public Health Officer Wilma Wooten said.
   
County vector control crews use the pesticide Pyrenone 25-5 in an effort to kill adult mosquitoes.
   
Some residents put up signs that said, "Do not spray,'' and crews skipped those homes.
   
Resident Brad Michels said he was concerned about the spray and its impact on his pets, organic garden and daughter. He told CBS News 8 that county officials didn't alert residents until Saturday evening.
   
"The offices were all closed for the holiday,'' he said. "A lot of people in the neighborhood are gone because of the holiday, and then they come back to find out that they're spraying and they don't know what to do or how to go about stopping it.''

Eric McDonald, Medical Director for the County Epidemiology Program, says it's safe.

"This is a very safe chemical used for adult mosquito control. It used in public health throughout the country," McDonald said.

Neighbors were told to stay indoors with their families and pets during the spraying. The spraying will last until about 3 p.m.   

According to county officials, the pesticide poses low risks to people and pets, but residents in the area who want to minimize their exposure can take precautionary steps, including:
   -- staying inside and bringing pets indoors if possible;
   -- closing doors and windows;
   -- turning off fans that bring outdoor air inside the home;
   -- covering ornamental fish ponds to avoid direct exposure;
   -- rinsing fruits and vegetables from gardens with water before cooking or eating;
   -- wiping down or covering outdoor items such as toys; and
   -- covering barbecue grills.

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