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Mosquito Danger?

September 07, 1986

After reading the various articles in your paper regarding the spraying for malaria mosquitoes in Carlsbad, I called the County Health Department to see if any possibility of a similar problem could occur at my property known as the Famosa Slough. I was told that no problem exists there now and that no preventive measures would be taken, unless a case of malaria was reported in the area.

Sloughs, bogs, and swamps, and standing water are known to breed fleas, hepatitis, botulism and the mosquito carrying diseases of encephalitis and malaria. The proper procedure to protect the health and welfare of adults and children living near such areas used to be to destroy the breeding ability of the mosquitoes by draining the standing water. Properly flushed areas can be healthy.

However, our governing representatives have bent to the chaotic whims of a few "pseudo-environmentalists" who care not for health and safety but would rather foster the disease and pestilence of filthy swamps by calling them "wetlands."

The Famosa Slough cannot be made clean by periodic opening of floodgates to add water to my property. This only adds more habitat for mosquitoes and bacteria. City drainage of urban runoff only increases the problem. An elaborate and expensive flushing system is being designed to provide artificially pumped tidal action to the area to make it safe for both human and wildlife. Further delays by obstructionists and irresponsible government bodies will only perpetuate the unhealthy possibilities.

Now that we have malaria-carrying mosquitoes in San Diego County, what and where will be the next outbreak of pestilence near "wetlands," and who will be safe from it? I advise that a real hard look to be taken at "environmentalism." It doesn't mean the perpetration of disease in "wetlands." To me, "environmentalism" is the responsible blending of human and wildlife habitats that protect and nurture each other, and the good health of all species.

Prevention of potential diseases in San Diego associated with "wetlands," bogs, swamps, and standing water must be considered now, not when it is too late and becomes a real problem.

T.L. SHELDON

San Diego

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