The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says this year's West Nile Virus outbreak is the biggest since 2004, with hundreds of infections nationwide.
Now, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings declared an emergency today. The West Nile virus is spreading, killing at least 14 people in Texas and 26 nationwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The declaration clears the way for aerial spraying to kill the infected mosquitos that carry the disease. Here is the CDC's insight on the outbreak and mosquito control:
"Well, you know, we really don't have a vaccine for West Nile Virus. So really, the only ways that we can prevent people from getting sick from West Nile Virus is to prevent people from getting bitten by infected mosquitoes. And there's two main ways to do that. One is by using repellent and other personal protective measures. And the second is by mosquito control, and that's spraying. You know, spraying is actually something that local communities do pretty commonly for a lot of reasons. And it's one of the methods that communities that are highly affected by West Nile Virus use. These pesticides are -- have been studied by the Environmental Protection Agency for safety and for effectiveness, specifically, for this purpose, for use in residential settings. Also, states have a certification requirement for the people that are going to be applying the pesticides. So use of EPA-registered pesticides by certified applicators, according to the way that it's recommended, is very, very safe, and, most importantly, we know that it's highly effective."
- Beth Bell, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention