Risk Assessment

Essay by voyagerCollege, UndergraduateA+, September 2009

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Environmental Science SCI/275The spread of the West Nile Virus by mosquitoes has become an increasing health concern in Genericville. Genericville has a population of 100,000, which is economically diverse, and depends on tourism during the summer months. The increasing number of citizens that have become afflicted with the virus has become a major concern in Genericville. Since the report of a fatality, there has been an action initiated to eradicate the mosquitoes to aid in reducing the illness. Aerial spraying of Malathion, which is a hazardous insecticide, has been the suggested solution.

A report by the CDC on the year 2006 reports that the activity of the West Nile Virus shows 4.269 reported cases with fatalities of 177 people in the U.S. Of the total 4,269 cases reported, 1,459 were severe, 2.616 were milder cases, and 194 were unspecified clinically (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007). The projections for Genericville, which have been concluded from experience, the testing of birds that are infected, and an increased breeding area for mosquitoes due to increased rainfall suggest that in Genericville, around 50 citizens will be infected and 2 citizens will die from the virus this year.

The aerial spraying of Malathion is thought to help reduce the problems created by the mosquitoes. Aerial spraying should reduce the population of the mosquitoes by about 90%, and would be able to provide the same reduction of the threat of West Niles Virus. One can make the speculation that the cases of the virus would decrease from 50 to five cases, and there would be a 20% chance or less of experiencing fatalities in these five cases.

The general belief is one where some individuals can tolerate high doses of the insecticide Malathion, while some individuals could show an increased reaction to...