TO FIGHT WEST NILE, DALLAS PLANS AN AERIAL DEFENSE

By The Associated Press

DALLAS (AP) — The last time Dallas used aerial spraying to curb the mosquito population, Texas’ Lyndon Johnson was in the White House, Mission Control in Houston was launching Gemini missions and encephalitis was blamed for more than a dozen deaths.

But for the first time in more than 45 years, the city and county planned Thursday to resume dropping insecticide from the air to combat the nation’s worst outbreak of West Nile virus, which has killed 10 people and caused at least 200 others to fall ill.

The efforts have provoked a debate between health officials trying to quell disease risk and people concerned about insecticidal mist drifting down from above.

The hot, dry weather has created ideal conditions for mosquitoes, speeding up their life cycle and turning standing water stagnant.