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North Texas cities return to spraying mosquitoes

08/19/2012 10:51 PM

08/21/2012 7:12 PM

Spraying against mosquitoes that may carry the West Nile virus continued from the air and the ground Sunday, after rainy weather Saturday grounded airplanes in Dallas County.

Crews in Fort Worth were expected to start spraying at about 10 p.m. Sunday targeting some neighborhoods in the 71604 and 76110 ZIP codes. The neighborhoods are near the hospital district south of downtown. Crews were scheduled to be done by 4 a.m. today. They completed the first two rounds of spraying early Saturday and early Sunday.

No other ground spraying is scheduled, but Fort Worth officials have scheduled a community meeting for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Summerglen Library, 4205 Basswood Blvd., to discuss concerns in far north Fort Worth.

Some neighborhoods in the 76137 and 76244 ZIP codes have had mosquitoes that have tested positive for West Nile, and some residents have contracted the disease.

"No decision has been made for ground spraying in that area, but we are watching that area and gathering more data," city spokeswoman Diane Covey said Sunday.

Arlington also was expected to spray Sunday night, tonight and Tuesday night, between 10:30 p.m. and 4 a.m., around Jake Langston Park, Arlington Municipal Airport and Doug Russell Park, according to a city news release.

Dallas County's aerial spraying resumed Sunday night after being postponed because of stormy weather Saturday, according to WFAA/Channel 8.

An estimated 200,000 acres were to be treated by four planes flying over all or parts of nine cities, including Addison, Carrollton, Coppell, Dallas, Farmers Branch, Garland, Grand Prairie, Mesquite and Richardson, the television station reported.

Storms interrupted aerial spraying Thursday and Friday nights as well. Dallas County spokeswoman Maria Arita said they were able to spray about 88,000 acres with pesticide that targets mosquitoes Friday night.

The virus spread by mosquitoes has left 10 dead and more than 200 sick in Dallas County.

As of Monday, there had been 205 human cases of West Nile virus in Tarrant County with two officially confirmed deaths -- a Euless woman in her 60s and a Fort Worth man in his 80s. Both had underlying health conditions, officials said.

Family members told the Star-Telegram on Friday that an 83-year-old North Richland Hills woman had died Wednesday of West Nile-related encephalitis; however, authorities have not confirmed the cause of death.

A second round of spraying will occur throughout Dallas County, including the entire city of Dallas, tonight and Tuesday night per the recommendation of Dr. Roger Nasci and Dr. Janet McAllister of the Centers for Disease Control, according to a city of Dallas news release.

According to those experts, back-to-back sprayings will not hamper the effectiveness of the second spraying event.

A second application of insecticide is recommended to kill the larvae that have hatched since the first spraying, the city of Dallas reported.

The Environmental Protection Agency has said that the insecticide, Duet, poses no significant threat to humans or animals, though it is toxic to fish and other types of aquatic life.

Most people infected with West Nile virus won't get sick, but about one in 150 people will develop the severe form of the illness. Symptoms include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness and paralysis.

This report includes information from The Associated Press.

Domingo Ramirez Jr.,

817-390-7763

Twitter: @mingoramirezjr

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