DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Officials in Dallas County are preparing to take aggressive action against mosquitos this week to prevent the spread of the potentially fatal West Nile virus. Nine people in Dallas County have died and nearly 200 people have gotten sick from the virus. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings is going to meet with experts this week to evaluate the next step.

The plan to perform aerial spraying is something new to Dallas County leaders. It has not been done since 1966, according to the health department, when Dallas County was not nearly as populated as it is now. However, the number of people who are getting sick and dying from the virus this year has health officials across the nation very concerned.

After evaluating the possible impact of aerial spraying, mayors in Dallas, Highland Park and University Park have all agreed that it is safe and could help to save lives. “The cost of not taking an aggressive approach against a disease that has already claimed nine lives and greatly sickened, so they’ll have lifetime repercussions, 172 people, warrants this resource request,” said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.

White Rock Lake Park is one of the areas that has been most affected by the West Nile virus, and will be targeted during the aerial spraying. Further specifics about additional areas are expected to be detailed later this week.

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