The mayor of Dallas has declared a state of emergency in the ninth largest US city as it struggles to contain an outbreak of mosquito-borne West Nile virus that has claimed the lives of 17 people so far this year…
The emergency declaration by Mayor Michael Rawlings followed a similar action last week by Dallas County officials and paves the way for aerial pesticide spraying to begin this week.
Nearly half of the 693 human cases of the mosquito-borne West Nile virus infections reported this year to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have been in Texas.
Residents have been urged to use insect repellent and avoid going out at dusk and dawn.
Aerial spraying also is being used elsewhere, including in neighbourhoods in New York City and Sacramento, California, to combat the spread of West Nile virus.
Officials say spraying is the most effective way to fight the mosquitoes that carry the disease despite safety concerns about exposing people to chemical pesticides.
Hey – even a long-time enviro like yours truly agrees that a short-term solution is better than no solution.
There have been cases of infection reported in people, birds or mosquitoes in 42 US states, with 80 per cent of the cases in Texas, Mississippi and Oklahoma…
The virus was first discovered in 1937 in Uganda. It is carried by birds and spread to humans by mosquitoes.
Of course, being Texas, they could hold mass prayer meetings and implore some invisible guy in the sky to lose the mosquitoes and make them all safe.
The mosquitoes would probably love the get-togethers. :)