The mayor of Dallas has declared a state of emergency and authorized an aerial spraying of pesticide, the first in the city since 1966, as five of the 10 deaths occurred within city limits. Some residents are protesting the spraying, calling it ineffective and harmful to beneficial insects, but Dallas officials insist the procedure is safe, and will assist with slowing the spread of the virus.
Viruses spread by mosquitoes like the West Nile are of special concern to those in the construction and landscaping industry, due to the time spent outdoors. While the C.D.C. report does not separate the incidences of infection by occupation, individuals working outdoors are apt to be more vulnerable to infection. The C.D.C. also said that among those infected with West Nile virus, including people with asymptomatic infections, less than 1% will develop the most severe symptoms.
The pattern of increasing incidence seems to go hand-in-hand with this year's sustained hot weather in California's Central Valley and the heartland. Increasing occurrences have been reported in Cook County, Illinois, which includes Chicago, and more cases are expected while temperatures are high.
West Nile Prevention Tips
• Use insect repellent that includes DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus
• Wear long sleeves, long pants and socks while outside – spray repellent directly onto clothes, not skin
• Be aware of peak mosquito hours (dusk to dawn, early morning and early evening)
• Drain standing water outside the home or at the job site
• Install or repair screens on windows and doors