For the first time in 45 years, the city of Dallas conducted aerial spraying for West Nile Virus in an effort to get the mosquito population under control there.
10 have died and 230 others have fallen ill from the virus that is transmitted by mosquitoes.
The unusually warm winter and recent drought is being blamed for the increase in numbers.
Warm weather speeds up the virus replication life cycle in mosquitoes.
“I cannot have any more deaths on my conscience because we did not take action,” Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said.
The Center for Disease Control have fears of the insecticide:
“It’s something new there that has not been used in quite a number of years,” said Dr. Roger Nasci of the CDC, explaining the public’s worries. “Anything novel comes with that unknown factor.”
A California study said that rates of infection were six times lower in areas that had been sprayed.
The insecticide’s common name is Duet Dual-Action Adulticide. The label says it’s toxic to fish and other types of aquatic life, and it contains distilled petroleum.
About eight-tenths of an ounce of chemical is applied per acre. The spraying Thursday night took three hours.
The good news is that if you do happen to get infected with West Nile, you can gain immunity from having the virus.