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Dallas Mayor Declares State of Emergency After West Nile Outbreak

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Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings has authorized an aerial spraying to combat a West Nile Virus outbreak, after declaring a state of emergency Wednesday. According to The Associated Press, there have been 10 deaths linked to the virus and more than 200 cases of infections in Dallas. The Texas Health Department reports 381 cases of infection and 16 deaths related to the virus statewide.

Listen to the NewsHour’s conversation Mayor Rawlings


The virus is carried by mosquitoes and transmitted to people through mosquito bites. Kristy Murray, a professor at Baylor College of Medicine, says about 80 percent of people will have no symptoms, and about 1 percent will have serious neuroinvasive symptoms, such as paralysis, vision disturbance, memory loss and fatigue.

Rawlings says Dallas has accounted for about 25 percent of cases in the U.S. The aerial spraying could begin today, depending on the weather.

The Dallas mayor spoke with the NewsHour over the phone about the state of emergency, concerns over aerial spraying and why the city is so susceptible to the West Nile Virus.

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