Texas outbreak of West Nile virus prompts aerial spraying

August 17, 2012

Aircraft have begun spraying pesticide over parts of Dallas, Texas to combat an outbreak of mosquito-borne West Nile Virus blamed for 17 deaths this year, authorities said Friday.

The Texas Department of State Health Services said the aircraft covered 52,000 acres of Dallas County on Thursday night, opening a new front to stop the spread of .

"Aerial spraying is a safe and very effective tool, but it doesn't take the place of the basic precautions," said David Lakey, the head of the health department.

"We are urging people to continue using every time they go outside."

Four more aircraft were to resume spraying later Friday, and residents were cautioned to avoid going outdoors, keep pets inside, cover ornamental fishponds and rinse off homegrown fruits and vegetables.

Throughout the state 465 people have been sickened since the start of the year, putting it on track to have the most cases since the disease first emerged a decade ago, the department said.

The county incorporating Dallas, the ninth-largest city in the United States, has been the hardest hit, prompting the mayor to declare a local state of disaster on Wednesday.

"The city of Dallas is experiencing a widespread outbreak of mosquito-borne West Nile that has caused, and appears likely to continue to cause, widespread and severe illness and loss of life," Mayor Michael Rawlings said.

The virus has claimed ten lives in the county so far, local and state health authorities said.

First discovered in Uganda in 1937, the virus is carried by birds and spread to humans by .

Severe symptoms of the virus include high fever, vision loss and paralysis, while milder symptoms range from headaches to skin rashes.

At least 693 cases -- both confirmed and probable -- of the virus have been reported in the United States this year, including 26 deaths, according to the .

Texas tops the list in both total cases and fatalities.

Explore further: West Nile virus kills 17 in Texas, sickens hundreds

Related Stories

West Nile virus kills 17 in Texas, sickens hundreds

August 15, 2012
The US state of Texas is battling an outbreak of the West Nile virus, with 17 deaths being blamed on the mosquito-borne disease, authorities said Wednesday.

US city declares West Nile outbreak emergency

August 16, 2012
(AP) — Ten deaths and more than 200 cases of the West Nile virus in northern Texas have become the worst U.S. outbreak this year, leading the Dallas mayor to order the city's first aerial spraying of insecticide in more ...

Dallas-fort worth brace for West Nile spraying

August 14, 2012
(HealthDay) -- The Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area -- the epicenter of the nation's worst outbreak of West Nile virus this year -- could see aerial spraying of insecticides as early as Thursday night to help control the ...

West Nile Virus detected on New York's Staten Island

July 10, 2012
The West Nile Virus has been detected in New York City, officials said Tuesday as they urged residents to take precautions against the mosquito-borne disease.

To fight West Nile, Dallas launches aerial defense

August 17, 2012
(AP) — Dallas County launched an aerial assault on the mosquito population for the first time in 45 years Thursday to combat the nation's worst outbreak of West Nile virus, which has killed 10 people and sickened at ...

Mosquito sample with West Nile virus found in Oakley, Calif.

August 24, 2011
A mosquito carrying the West Nile virus was discovered in eastern Contra Costa County, Calif., marking the first time this year vector control officials have found such a sample in the county, a spokeswoman said Friday.

Recommended for you

Pneumonia vaccine under development provides 'most comprehensive coverage' to date, alleviates antimicrobial concerns

October 20, 2017
In 2004, pneumonia killed more than 2 million children worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. By 2015, the number was less than 1 million.

Newly discovered viral marker could help predict flu severity in infected patients

October 20, 2017
Flu viruses contain defective genetic material that may activate the immune system in infected patients, and new research published in PLOS Pathogens suggests that lower levels of these molecules could increase flu severity.

H7N9 influenza is both lethal and transmissible in animal model for flu

October 19, 2017
In 2013, an influenza virus that had never before been detected began circulating among poultry in China. It caused several waves of human infection and in late 2016, the number of people to become sick from the H7N9 virus ...

Flu simulations suggest pandemics more likely in spring, early summer

October 19, 2017
New statistical simulations suggest that Northern Hemisphere flu pandemics are most likely to emerge in late spring or early summer at the tail end of the normal flu season, according to a new study published in PLOS Computational ...

New insights into herpes virus could inform vaccine development

October 18, 2017
A team of scientists has discovered new insights into the mechanisms of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection, as well as two antibodies that block the virus' entry into cells. The findings, published in Proceedings of the National ...

Pair of discoveries illuminate new paths to flu and anthrax treatments

October 17, 2017
Two recent studies led by biologists at the University of California San Diego have set the research groundwork for new avenues to treat influenza and anthrax poisoning.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.