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West Nile Virus Outbreak Puts Dallas In State of Emergency 167

Posted by timothy
from the those-mosquitoes-are-obviously-lost dept.
Penurious Penguin writes with news from the BBC that the city of Dallas "is experiencing a widespread outbreak of mosquito-borne West Nile Virus that has caused and appears likely to continue to cause widespread and severe illness and loss of life," and writes that the city "has declared a state of emergency. West Nile virus can be asymptomatic or produce multiple symptoms, but can also lead to fevers, and the potentially fatal meningitis or encephalitis. Birds are the most common carriers and mosquitoes are the vector for human infection."
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West Nile Virus Outbreak Puts Dallas In State of Emergency

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  • Buy DEET (Score:5, Informative)

    by arcite (661011) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @08:28AM (#41008949)
    Buy DEET, 50-90% concentration, apply liberally. The higher concentration stuff is rather strong, but you can spray it on your clothes (ie. Socks, shoes, sleeves).
  • Re:Buy DEET (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anne_Nonymous (313852) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @08:34AM (#41008993) Homepage Journal

    >> you can spray it on your clothes

    Not synthetics, however, which tend to degrade from DEET.

  • A little. (Score:5, Informative)

    by neoshroom (324937) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @08:39AM (#41009041)
    It is in area news [dallasnews.com], but it hasn't hit the national airwaves yet. However, the local news doesn't describe it as a "state of emergency" like the BBC does. Maybe though they just don't want to get people overly scared. What is happening is pretty much the same as what happened in New York a couple years ago.
  • by bengoerz (581218) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @08:46AM (#41009131)
    I live in Dallas. People are not dying in the streets. We are not living out Monty Python's "Bring Out Your Dead" sketch.

    The "emergency" was declared primarily so we could gain access to 5 pesticide-spraying planes from the Texas Department of Emergency Management [dallasobserver.com].
  • by DJRumpy (1345787) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @09:01AM (#41009303)

    Unlikely ;)

    For most, they won't even know they are exposed. This is a lot like SARS in that respect. It only severely effects about 1% of those infected. About 20% get mild symptoms, headaches, etc.

    It does adversely affect those with compromised immune systems though (the elderly, immunocompromised, etc).

    30% concentration of DEET is recommended for adults. Certainly NOT 90%.
    10% DEET concentration for children.

    The concentrations the poster above is suggesting would be toxic.

  • Re:huh? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 16, 2012 @09:24AM (#41009579)

    Actually, the reason California has its debt load is because of following a Conservative anti-tax policy. That, and their electricity deregulation which gave boatloads of money to companies like Enron all in the name of a free market.

    You'll never understand nor admit that it's the right-wing policies that harmed California, nor that the fix is relatively simple.

    BTW, if California is broke, then so is Texas. They both have huge debt loads.

  • Re:A little. (Score:2, Informative)

    by bws111 (1216812) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @10:12AM (#41010413)

    In reality, all a "state of emergency" means is that state money is available to combat the problem. There may also be some laws put into effect (like getting fined if you leave standing water on your property). It does not mean that things are dire or that drastic measures are being taken, which is how many people read it.

  • by DJRumpy (1345787) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @11:48AM (#41011995)

    Look here:

    http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/consultations/deet/guidelines.html [cdc.gov]

    To prevent the possibility of adverse effects, products containing DEET should not be used on children younger than 2 months of age. For children over 2 months and for adults, the use of a product with a concentration no greater than 30% DEET is advised. Use the lowest concentration DEET product that will provide adequate protection. Reapply the repellent only after effectiveness diminishes with time.

    Studies have also shown that anything above 50% provided no additional protection (but did provider longer protection). In other words, it was no more effective, but lasted longer.

    http://www.cdc.gov/malaria/toolkit/DEET.pdf [cdc.gov]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 16, 2012 @01:50PM (#41013723)

    Or maybe they're exercising due diligence by not allowing every yahoo with a crop duster to shower pesticides on residential areas.

    The only ones allowed to hire aircraft to spray for mosquitoes in the first place are local governments and state health districts, so your concern is completely out of place. Only government agencies are allowed to purchase such aerial mosquito spray services here in Texas. The problem is that the supply of qualified pilots and planes ready to service these official government contracts is being artificially and unreasonably restricted by another government agency.

    Also, "crop dusters" are not "yahoos".

    You may be stuck thinking in the 1950's when the industry was not very regulated, but today "aerial applicators" (they are not referred to as "crop dusters" anymore except by folks who don't know what they're talking about and are just trying to stir up negativity) are a highly regulated and professional business. The aircraft cost several hundreds of thousands of dollars, sometimes well over a million each. The pilots have to go thru special training and certification programs in addition to being certified by the FAA as commercial pilots. They also have to be licensed by every state they operate in for the chemical handling and deployment regardless of whether it's sprayed by aircraft or ground vehicles, in addition to the federal FAA certification requirements on the pilot and the aircraft. They are all also required to have boatloads of special, very expensive insurance too, to cover the chemical cleanup in case of accidents.

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