DALLAS –– The same day Dallas County announced the 13th death associated with West Nile Virus, federal health officials announced that human West Nile cases jumped 40 percent in a week.
The identity of the latest victim was not released, but Dallas County Health and Human Services Director Zach Thompson said the man was in his 40s and had underlying health conditions.
The Centers for Disease Control says nearly 1,600 West Nile cases have been reported nationwide, with more than 700 of them in North Texas.
Because of increasing concern about the illness, Dallas County has teamed with an insect repellent company to distribute DEET to the elderly.
Representatives with county’s Health and Human Services Department and the Commissioners Court spoke at the Sunshine Senior Center Wednesday afternoon about personal responsibility and the need to protect the very young and the elderly –– two age groups most susceptible to being diagnosed with West Nile.
To help facilitate this, Dallas County and Cutter Insect Repellent will provide 20,000 DEET-based spray cans to the elderly and low-income residents.
“It takes people working together to make a difference,” said County Commissioner Elba Garcia. “It is going to take all of us to take care of our grand kids, our children and make sure that all of us follow the four D’s.”
The four D’s are the county’s alliterative way to remind residents to fight against mosquito bites: Dress in long, loose, light-colored clothing; use insect repellent with the insecticide DEET; drain any standing water, which are mosquito breeding grounds; and stay indoors during dawn and dusk.
Health and Human Services Director Zach Thompson and County Judge John Wiley Price were on hand to distribute the repellent.
Meanwhile, in Denton County, officials formally announced the time for aerial spraying. The 30 towns and municipalities that took the county up on its offer will be sprayed from 9 p.m. on Thursday until 2 a.m. Friday, weather permitting [SEE MAP OF SPRAY AREAS].
Be forewarned, though, residents who live in cities that opted out of the spraying may see the small planes flying over them. That doesn't mean they're being sprayed there, officials say.
Per the County Health Department, here’s the finalized list of which opted in:
Aubrey, Town of Copper Canyon, Corral City, Town of Crossroads, Town of Dish, Town of Double Oak, Town of Flower Mound, Hackberry, Haslet, Hickory Creek, Highland Village, Justin, Krugerville, Krum, Lake Dallas, Lakewood Village, Lewisville, Lincoln Park, Town of Northlake, Oak Point, Pilot Point, Ponder, Prosper (Denton County only), Providence Village, Roanoke, Sanger, Sandy Shores, Southlake, Town of Trophy Club, Town of Westlake
And those that opted out:
Argyle, Bartonville, Corinth, Denton, Fort Worth, Frisco, Hebron, Little Elm, Plano, The Colony.
Carrollton, Coppell and Dallas were already sprayed by Dallas County.