Reporting Joel Thomas
FORT WORTH (CBS 11 NEWS)- Fort Worth is preparing to spray for mosquitos on the ground for the first time in 20 years. Tarrant County advised the city Tuesday it had at least one neighborhood with multiple West Wile cases that should be targeted. The news comes amid growing concerns among residents about the virus.
“I have a little baby and I get worried,” said Fort Worth resident George Alfaro. “I hear all this stuff in the news about people dying. And I just don’t want that to happen to my baby.”
The signs of Fort Worth’s growing West Wile concern are evident in neighborhoods around the city.
City workers are driving an outreach trailer into neighborhoods with reported West Nile cases. They are handing out flyers door to door and sending out the message through reverse 9-1-1 calls:
This is an important message from the City of Fort Worth,” the recorded message said. “There have been a number of confirmed cases of West Nile virus throughout Fort Worth. It is important every resident in every neighborhood help participate in helping reduce the spread of the virus.
The message then outlines ways to protect yourself from mosquito bites and help alleviate mosquito breeding areas.
But late Tuesday, Tarrant County’s health department said that wasn’t enough. It asked the city to begin fogging particular areas with multiple West Nile cases reported. Fort Worth had already begun narrowing its search for the most likely areas for spraying.
“We have put out traps this last weekend,” said Brandon Bennett, Fort Worth’s Code Compliance Director. “We’ll get data back on those traps late tomorrow. We’ll have conversations with the epidemiologist this afternoon, and again in the morning.”
For many worried parents like Alfaro, its welcome news.
“I just don’t want nothing happening to my baby,” Alfaro said. “If they could spray it would be a lot of help instead of just waiting for cases and having an epidemic to where they can’t control it. You might as well just do it. Take care of the problem before it gets any worse.”
The city will pinpoint areas for spraying Wednesday with actual spraying starting later this week.
An informational meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden lecture hall. The location of the first spraying will be discussed. Experts will be available to answer questions about ground level spraying.
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