Dallas officials say 20 new West Nile virus cases have raised the County total to 262. KERA’s Bill Zeeble reports the second round of the air assault on mosquitoes launched last night at 9 even though leaders initially said that may not be effective.
Last night’s 2nd round of spraying was designed to kill newborn mosquitoes not yet hatched during the first spray. That’s why officials planned a 4 day gap between assaults. But bad weather forced back to back spraying over much of Dallas.
Laura McGowan, with Clarke, the company overseeing the poison delivery, says the plan will still work.
"When you have weather delays and things like that, the CDC factors that in all their recommendations. We want to make sure we interrupt the transmission cycle as it stands right now. This is part of their recommendation to go ahead with the 2nd spray on this time frame."
The County declined to release the latest count of infected mosquitoes pending more reliable numbers, but Dallas County Health and Human Services Director Zachary Thompson says the combined ground and air assault is working.
"This should be a model for future cities and counties that as they look at different municipalities in their choices of whether they do aerial or they do ground , at the end of day they need to do both."
Thompson says CDC officials will arrive this week, and they will help assess the county’s war on West Nile. Meanwhile, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins says residents can play a role.
"We need your help with that standing water from these recent rains. If there are elderly or disabled people in your neighborhood that can’t drain their own standing water, please take responsibility for them and go down there, remove those tires or those covers on cars and get that water off there."
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings says anyone needing more help getting rid of standing water can call 3-1-1. Cities in Dallas County’s southern sector wishing a mosquito air assault have until this afternoon to make their request. Judge Jenkins says one has opted in so far.