Dallas County is considering whether to begin its efforts to combat the West Nile Virus earlier this year than last year, according to the County Commission's Tuesday agenda. (Published Friday, Feb 8, 2013)
Dallas County is considering whether to begin its efforts to combat the West Nile Virus earlier this year than last year, according to the County Commission's Tuesday agenda.
County commissioners are set to vote on a recommendation from Director of the Dallas County Department of Health and Human Services Zachary Thompson to begin ground spraying for mosquitoes on May 1.
In 2012, ground spraying did not begin in Dallas County until June 21, according to county records released to NBC 5.
Thompson's recommendation states the county has $350,000 available for trapping, testing and spraying. Aerial spraying is also in the budget, and would be used as a complement to the ground spraying.
The West Nile Virus outbreak in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in 2012 was the worst in recent memory - 498 people were sickened in Dallas County alone, resulting in 19 deaths.
The NBC 5 Investigates team previously reported that Dallas County began its trapping and testing program much later in the year than some experts recommended.
Houston and Sacramento, Calf., for example, began their programs earlier in the Spring and have, at times, run the program year-round.
Early testing is important because it can quickly pinpoint areas with high mosquito populations, making spraying more effective.
Dallas City Council members will also look at an early mosquito program at their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday.