Diseases carried by mosquitoes can present serious public health concerns. Every year we hear
reports in the media about Massachusetts residents being diagnosed with insect-borne diseases such as EEE. Fortunately, such cases are usually rare and isolated.
The question faced by local health officials
each year is whether or not to spray the environment to kill mosquitoes when a case of EEE is confirmed.
Due to the
health risks associated with spraying toxic chemicals on a human population, health boards must do a careful risk/benefit
analysis before choosing whether or not to spray.
If elected to the Franklin Board of Health, my first inclination,
before resorting to the "nuclear option" of spraying our neighborhoods with toxins, would be to educate
residents about the potential danger if a mosquito-related diagnosis is made. There are several effective ways to prevent
mosquito bites and these steps should be taken before we unleash toxins over our community. Franklin health officials
have at their disposal the Reverse 911 phone calling system to alert parents if/when the need arises.
our community with poisons should be a very last resort, done only in the most dire of health emergencies.