Omar Villafranca, NBC 5 News
The City of Dallas is being proactive in the fight against West Nile virus-carrying mosquitoes handing out dunks to toss in stagnant water.
The battle against West Nile virus is starting early in the city of Dallas.
Assistant City Manager Joey Zapata talked at a meeting at City Hall about the measures the city is taking to fight the virus that killed 20 people in Dallas County last year.
"The mood is that this is a manageable virus that we're going to have around us for a while," he said.
Zapata told council members that the city started doing "off-season" mosquito trapping and testing for the virus back in December. In the peak of West Nile virus season, the city will deploy 90 traps, up from the 30 used in the past.
Zapata also noted that the city now has an extra truck to use in the ground spraying of chemicals to kill mosquitoes. Ground spraying is only used in an area after a test comes back positive for the virus.
The use of mosquito dunks got plenty of attention from council members. Dunks are dropped in pools of water to kill mosquito larvae.
In the past, Dallas did not give out dunk to residents. This year, the city plan to give away 46,000 dunks to fight the spread of the virus.
"It's a lesson that we learned from last year," Zapata said. "It's just to make it important, make it a first, critical step to making sure that we're addressing breeding mosquitoes."
Starting next month, Dallas residents can also expect to hear and see plenty of radio and TV ads talking about fighting West Nile virus.