Health Department Recommends Aerial Spraying for West Nile Virus
August 22, 2012 – Denton County Health Department has recommended that Denton County Judge, Mary
Horn, declare a West Nile Virus Health Emergency and request that the Department of State Health
Services make additional resources available to Denton County in the form of aerial spraying.
Denton County has recorded 105 cases of West Nile Virus, and the number of cases continues to
increase daily. More importantly, Denton County has the highest WNV incidence rate in the State.
“We are very concerned at the number, rate, and severity of cases of West Nile Virus among Denton
County residents”, stated Bing Burton, Ph.D., director of Denton County Health Department.
Ground spraying and the use of larvacide in ponds and standing water has not been successful in
containing this disease outbreak. Although these strategies, coupled with education and the
importance of personal protective measures will remain an important part of Denton County’s disease
response, the geographic advantages of aerial spraying may be the most effective means of combating
WNV. It is believed that the ability of aerial spraying to cover very large areas of the county
at one time may provide the needed boost in preventive measures to reduce the growing number of
The pesticide used in aerial spraying is very similar to the one employed in ground spraying. It
is not a more concentrated dose, and it has been declared safe for humans and pets by the Centers
for Disease Control. The persistence of this disease outbreak has led health officials to
recommend that the county expand measures to protect County residents.
The declaration of a Health Emergency will allow the County to request State and Federal resources.
However, as in Dallas County, the municipalities in Denton County will determine whether they wish
to be included in the spraying. Prompt response from the municipalities will be encouraged to
enable optimal use of the aerial spray resource.
Please visit the DCHD West Nile virus website (http://www.dentoncounty.com/heart/wnv) for more details
about symptoms, prevention tips, county-wide contacts, reducing mosquitoes around your home, and
Posted on Aug 23, 2012 - 02:21 PM - status: open