After mosquito samples tested positive for the West Nile Virus last week, areas of Dallas were sprayed two nights in a row to try and slow the spread of the virus, according to a City press release.

Residents were asked to remain in their homes or vehicles with the windows up and the air conditioning on as trucks actively sprayed on October 8 and October 9.

The areas treated were near the streets of White Elm Road, Pleasant Valley Drive, Angora Street, Ferguson Road, Morgan Meadow Lane, and Forest Lane.

“People who are out during the scheduled spraying time should be alert for trucks and should not follow them,” the press release urged. “Residents who come into contact with the spray are advised to wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and water. The spray breaks down quickly in the presence of sunlight and has no residual effect.”

Scheduled spraying times fell between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. on both nights.

The most common way that the West Nile Virus (WNV) is transmitted to people is through mosquito bites, according to the Dallas City News website.

“You can reduce your risk of being infected with WNV by using insect repellent and wearing protective clothing to prevent mosquito bites,” the website shares. “There are no medications to treat or vaccines to prevent WNV infection.”

Most people who have contracted WNV are asymptomatic. Approximately 20% develop a fever and other symptoms. Fewer than 1% of infected people develop an illness severe enough to impact the central nervous system fatally.

Standing water allows mosquitos a place to hatch from eggs and grow into adults, so it is one of the primary ways the virus spreads.

“Residents should eliminate standing water to prevent mosquito breeding and the spread of West Nile Virus,” the Dallas press release reads. “Eliminate standing water promptly, as mosquitoes can grow from egg to adult in as little as seven days.”

Examples of breeding places for mosquitoes include:

  • swimming pools that are not kept clean.
  • stagnant ponds.
  • pet watering dishes.
  • birdbaths.
  • potted plants.
  • old tires.
  • empty containers.
  • toys.
  • clogged rain gutters.
  • French drains.

Dallas residents can get taxpayer-funded mosquito dunks from code compliance services district offices while supplies last to slow the spread of mosquitoes and viruses they carry.

Code compliance services district offices can be found on Goforth Road, East Jefferson Boulevard, Canton Street, and Harry Hines Boulevard.

Another virus that can be spread by mosquitoes is the Zika virus, according to Dallas City News, which can then also be transmitted via sexual contact.

“There are currently no reports of Zika virus being locally transmitted by mosquitoes in Dallas County. However, imported cases make local spread by mosquitoes possible because the mosquitoes that can transmit the virus are found locally,” Dallas City News shares.

While no vaccine is available for Zika infection, symptoms of joint pain, fever, conjunctivitis, and rash may be relieved with healthy doses of Vitamin C.