Reporting Jeff Ray
DENTON COUNTY (CBS 11 NEWS) – The West Nile virus has created a health emergency in Denton County. Officials there now say aerial spraying is the plan to help fight the spread of the disease.
They have asked all municipalities in the county to decide no later than next Tuesday if they want to join in. As of yesterday, 112 West Nile cases have been reported in Denton County. Divide that by their population, and that’s the highest concentration of any county in Texas.
It is a decision based on the numbers. One fatality and the number of West Nile infections growing by five to six cases a day.
“We acknowledge that is the highest incident rate in the state and it well may be the highest rate in the nation, I don’t think any other state is dealing with the magnitude of cases we have,” said Dr. Bing Burton, Denton County Health Director.
Yesterday, health officials asked Denton County Judge Mary Horn to issue a disaster declaration allowing access to state funds. Today, they are asking the cities to decide if they want to opt-in to the aerial spraying effort.
“Obviously a prompt response from the municipalities is encouraged to enable optimum use of the spraying resource,” said Judge Mary Horn.
The state is paying for the spraying. Denton County officials would like the spraying to start next Thursday.
So what cities across Denton County will join in?
- The city limits of Coppell, Carrollton and Dallas extend into Denton County. They were sprayed last week.
- The city of Frisco says no to aerial spraying. They think ground spraying is working just fine.
- Providence Village also says no.
- Lake Dallas says yes, honoring the emergency declaration.
- Flower Mound has approved aerial spraying.
Many cities are planning public meetings:
- Little Elm meets tonight on the issue.
- The town of Sanger is meeting tomorrow morning.
- The City of Lewisville is meeting Monday.
These cities are holding public meetings on Tuesday, the deadline set by Denton County officials:
- Highland Village
The town of Shady Shores is meeting on Wednesday.
All other cities have either made no announcement yet or are deciding internally.
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