Philip Alcabes discusses myths of health, disease and risk.

Bugs in New York

I admit that I haven’t followed the story of the blossoming bedbug population avidly.  Not that I’m cold to the heartache (and itch) that bedbug infestations can bring.  It’s just that an epidemiologist always gets more worked-up about bugs like mosquitoes and ticks that are vectors for microbial pathogens — and bedbugs aren’t.

But this AP article grabbed me.  According to New York City, over 6 percent of residents who responded to a community health survey claimed to have dealt with bedbugs in the past year.  In response, the city will withhold half-million dollars normally budgeted for the city’s health department  and redirect the funds to an anti-bedbug campaign.

Some might argue that the $500,000 would be better used for preventing deadly illnesses and accidents, not just bug bites.  Still, the campaign seems right.  According to the AP story, environmental health people will work with a “top entomologist.” (Professionals collaborating across sectors:  One City, One Health.  Good.)  A note by Javier Hernandez at the NY Times‘s City Room blog is guarded, but some (like Molly Fischer at the NY Observer) seem relieved that there will be a big anti-bedbug crusade at last.

Not a very big crusade, but at least a multifaceted one, as the Bed Bug Advisory Board’s Report suggests.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 28th, 2010 at 6:53 pm and is filed under Health Professions, News, public health, Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.