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Public Health Rep. 2013 May-Jun;128(3):221-30.

Correlation between aerial insecticide spraying to interrupt west nile virus transmission and emergency department visits in Sacramento County, California.

Author information

1
University of California, Davis, Division of General Medicine, Sacramento, CA 95817, USA. estella.geraghty@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Insecticides reduce vector-borne pathogen transmission but also pose health risks. In August 2005, Sacramento County, California, underwent emergency aerial ultralow-volume (ULV) application of pyrethrin insecticide to reduce the population of West Nile virus (WNV)-infected mosquitoes and thereby interrupt enzootic and tangential transmission. We assessed the association between aerially applied pyrethrin insecticide and patterns of emergency department (ED) visit diagnoses.

METHODS:

We used geographic information systems software to determine ZIP Code-level exposure to pyrethrin. We used logistic regression models to examine the relationship between exposure status and three-digit International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Edition, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) codes (785 in total) for all ED visits (n=253,648) within Sacramento County in 2005 and for specific diagnostic clusters (e.g., respiratory, gastrointestinal, skin, eye, and neurologic). All models were adjusted for age, gender, race/ethnicity (individual level), median income, ozone, and temperature (ZIP Code level).

RESULTS:

Exposure to aerially applied insecticide was not associated with clusters of respiratory, gastrointestinal, skin, eye, and neurologic complaints in adjusted models but was inversely associated with ICD-9-CM code 799 ("other ill-defined morbidity and mortality"), with adjusted odds ratios (AORs) ranging from 0.31 to 0.36 for 0-3 lag days (95% confidence interval 0.17, 0.68). Spraying was also directly associated with ICD-9-CM code 553 ("other abdominal hernia"), with AORs ranging from 2.34 to 2.96 for 2-3 lag days.

CONCLUSIONS:

The observed significant ICD-9-CM code associations likely represented chance findings. Aerial ULV pyrethrin applications were not associated with ED visits for specific diagnoses or clusters of diagnoses.

PMID:
23633737
PMCID:
PMC3610074
DOI:
10.1177/003335491312800312
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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