To Spray Or Not To Spray?

For more information on West Nile spraying in Cuyahoga County, call the West Nile Hotline at (216) 443-5679.

LAKEWOOD, Ohio – Despite the rapidly growing number of West Nile cases in Ohio, there are citizens in the city of Lakewood that aren't sure they want their community sprayed with repellent to fight the spread of the virus, Action News' Bill Younkin reported.

There are three confirmed cases of West Nile in northeast Ohio and more than a dozen suspected cases in Cuyahoga County alone.

Many communities are spraying repellent to fight the problem that local health officials classify as "Level 4" or high-risk.

The highest risk of more people getting sick is in the next six to eight weeks, and if more cases crop up, there could be aerial spraying to kill mosquitoes that carry the virus. That would be the first time that has happened since 1975.

Those for and against the controversial issue in Lakewood took center stage at a City Hall meeting on Wednesday night. It figured to be a war of words, but it turned out to be more of a West Nile virus seminar where no official decision was made.

"I believe we're going to see, as predicted, increasing numbers of human cases," Lakewood Mayor Madeline Cain said.

Cain is definitely leading the pack when it comes to spraying each neighborhood scattered throughout the near west-side Cleveland suburb. She has her followers, including Laura Ziegler.

"I want to protect my kid," Ziegler said. "I want to protect myself. I want to protect my whole family."

There are many others, however, who are scared to death of the spraying machines mounted on pickup trucks.

"The government doesn't need to protect you," Lakewood resident Susan Moore said. "I think I can handle it myself."

A proposal to get the job done before West Nile strikes in Lakewood is on the table, but council must first OK spending $85,000 to do the job. In the meantime, the mosquito mayhem will continue buzzing until a final decision is made later this week.