In what researchers say is the first public health study of the aerial mosquito spraying method to prevent West Nile virus, a UC Davis study analyzed emergency department records from Sacramento area hospitals during -- and immediately after -- aerial sprayings in the summer of 2005.
Physicians and scientists from the university and from the California Department of Public Health found no increase in specific diagnoses that are considered most likely to be associated with pesticide exposure, including respiratory, gastrointestinal, skin, eye and neurological conditions.
The study evaluated emergency room visits in Sacramento County hospitals on days that pesticides were sprayed as well as the three days following spraying. The study appears in the May-June 2013 issue of Public Health Reports.
The study comes as mosquito control officials said the region's recent rainstorms and warming temperatures have increased stagnant water and favorable conditions for mosquitoes.