"We've exhausted all other components of our plan," says Dallas County Health and Human Services Director Zachary Thompson one day after the mayors of three cities agreed that aerial spraying of pesticides is needed to combat the West Nile Virus.
The leaders of University Park, Highland Park and Dallas all called for an air attack to stop the spread of the mosquito-borne illness that has caused 9 deaths and sickened more than 180 people in the county so far this year.
"We've done the education, the ground spraying, but we are seeing more cases and the numbers will go up," says Thompson who says we are approaching the peak season for the virus.
Five planes are expected to arrive this week and city and county officials will be meeting to devise a plan.Â
Meanwhile, the county will start an 'enhanced ground attack'.Â Â For three straight nights -- Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday --Â they will hit North Dallas and the Park Cities.
Percy Winston, a father of six, took his school-age children to an immunization fair Saturday at Cedar Hill High School.Â He says he is amazed that his kids can be vaccinated for the Chicken Pox and Whopping Cough, but there is no vaccine for the West Nile Virus.
"They have vaccine for horses butÂ they don't have aÂ vaccineÂ for humans," says Thompson.Â He agrees that the public needs to protect themselves,Â but heÂ hopes the aerial spraying will help.