Aerial spraying for mosquitoes carrying the West Nile Virus begins tonight from 10 p.m. until 1 a.m. The area of Dallas, Highland Park and University Park to be sprayed are bound by LBJ Freeway, the North Dallas Tollway and I-30.
Uptown and most of Oak Lawn are included in the spraying area. The only area bounded by those highways that is not included is Mesquite.
Another 20,000 acres may be added later today, according to a mid-morning release from the city of Dallas.
In Oak Lawn, there have been three human cases of West Nile Virus in the 75219 zip code and one case in 75235. In Uptown’s 74204 zip code, one human case has been reported. The 75235 zip code west of the Tollway is not included in tonight’s announced spraying area.
One case has been reported in each of North Oak Cliff’s two zip codes — 75208 and 75211 — but Oak Cliff, south of I-30, is not included in the spraying area.
Ten deaths from West Nile Virus and more than 200 human cases of the disease have been reported in the Dallas area. Statewide, 16 deaths have been reported.
Bret Camp, Resource Center Dallas health services director, said there’s no way to know the number of actual cases that include many people who’ve gotten sick with mild cases and never went to a doctor.
As we noted yesterday, those with compromised immune systems would also be sensitive to the pesticides. But Camp said he thought the benefits of spraying outweighed the risk of the chemical.
“Anyone at high risk to West Nile Virus has a potential to be more sensitive to chemicals,” Camp said.
City Councilwoman Angela Hunt said the council was not consulted about the spraying. The mayor used his emergency powers to begin the spraying program. She had mixed feelings about the program.
“At this point it’s half and half,” she said. “We’re at the end of the bell curve for mosquito season and West Nile problems.”
She said that from what she’s learned it’s more effective to spray for mosquitoes at the beginning of the season. Spraying will only kill the adult insects and not have any effect on larvae. She said it’s more important for people to to not leave any standing water in their yards.
“A bottle cap with water will let them breed,” she said.
She said she wanted to get word out for people in the areas being sprayed to stay indoors tonight during the spraying.
This warning was sent by the city:
Aerial spraying is considered to be an effective and safe way to kill adult mosquitoes in large, densely populated areas. Although the pesticide is approved by the Environmental Protection Agency, residents are advised to take the following precautions:
• Minimize exposure. Avoid being outside, close windows and keep pets inside.
• If skin or clothes are exposed, wash them with soap and water.
• Rinse homegrown fruits and vegetables with water as a general precautionary measure.
• Cover small ornamental fish ponds.
• Because the chemical breaks down quickly in sunlight and water, no special precautions are suggested for outdoor swimming areas.
North of I-30, the cities that have opted out of spraying are Irving, Sachse and Rowlett. South Dallas county cities of Duncanville, De Soto, Cedar Hill, Lancaster, Glenn Heights, Wilmer, Hutchins, Seagoville, Ferris, Combine and Balch Springs are not included in the spraying area. Cockrell Hill, which is surrounded by Oak Cliff, is also outside the spraying area.
UPDATE, 4 p.m.: Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins announced this afternoon that all of Lake Highlands will be sprayed including areas outside of LBJ. Also, the entire City of Garland, parts of Richardson east of Central Expressway and parts of Mesquite north of I-30 have been added to tonight’s aerial spraying.
Below is the latest report on West Nile from Dallas County: