CDC West Nile Specialists To Visit Dallas

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Bud Gillett
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West Nile Virus

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DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – The fight against West Nile goes on in the air and on the ground. But while spraying gets most of the attention, the Dallas City Marshal’s office is also on the hunt in local neighborhoods for bad drainage and standing water.

While bird baths or backyard fish ponds can attract mosquitos carrying the virus, so too can puddles in some unusual places.

Paul Hansen is the Chief Deputy Marshal at the Dallas City Marshal’s office. “We know trapped tires fill with water, and they’re a breeding ground for mosquitos,” he said.

He had good news early on: no offenders. It comes as Dallas County prepares its next phase of aerial spraying for cities in mostly the southern sector. It will be followed up Thursday night. Most of Dallas and northern cities were handled last week with the second round of spraying Monday night.

Health officials said that it will take a while to know if it is working. “Two to 14 days in an area after its sprayed — that’s what we’re looking for,” said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. While initially fewer West Nile mosquitos in traps will be one good sign, Jenkins added, “the ultimate measure of success is the human cases of West Nile virus and the lives that are saved.”

In the meantime, specialists from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are due in Dallas at any hour to assist in the fight. Jenkins said that they are calling Dallas County the worst West Nile outbreak in the United States and promise $3 million to help pay for the aerial spraying program.

New West Nile cases were reported in University Park and Grand Prairie on Wednesday. It can strike anywhere, even top politicians like Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. “It’s amazing how many people I know,” he told CBS 11 News. “I know a lacrosse coach, just deathly ill right now. My assistant has tested positive for this. I’ve known several people that have died. This is touching all of us across the City of Dallas, if you’ve lived here a long time. I think we need to take it in a very sober way.”

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