Texarkana has declared a state of emergency because of an increase in cases of West Nile virus.
The Board of Directors voted Thursday to declare an emergency, which allows the city to begin spraying immediately for mosquitoes. The Texarkana Gazette reports the spraying began at 10 p.m. Thursday.
The city declared the emergency after a spike in West Nile cases, including a death in Texarkana, Texas. Without the emergency declaration, the city would have had to wait five days or longer to receive approval to spray.
Mayor Wayne Smith says the city will concentrate spraying on areas where West Nile has been confirmed, then move to areas with creeks, ponds and schools.
Texas has reported 21 West Nile deaths so far this year, while Arkansas has recorded one fatality.