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West Nile on the West Coast

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LAist has noticed that the West Nile frenzy has reached a fever pitch, especially in the Valley, with many calling for the city to remove all standing water across the 498 square miles of our fine municipality. For a cash-strapped town like Los Angeles, this seems unlikely.

What's a panicked citizen to do?

Some have suggested returning to aerial pesticide spraying (DDT, anyone?). We could also turn off the sprinklers and let nature and limited rainfall take its course, returning our artificial Eden to its semi-arid, puddle-less state. The city itself is considering fining negligent owners of pools of standing water (unless said water is in a pothole on a city street).

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Of course, any death is a tragedy, but we can take note of the fact that 560 people nationwide have died of West Nile over the entire 5 year course of the "epidemic," as opposed to the 30,000 or so who perish from the flu every year.

Hey, that's a big difference! That sneeze may not be a harbinger of doom after all! Heck, we never even get the flu, if you don't count the time we took the red-eye to New York for Christmas!

Ah, sweet perspective... balm of the troubled soul.