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Dallas to Start Mosquito Fight Early Amid Zika Concern

/ Source: NBC Dallas-Fort Worth
Image: Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are seen inside Oxitec laboratory in Campinas, Brazil
Aedes aegypti mosquitoes Paulo Whitaker / Reuters

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The City of Dallas plans to begin its annual mosquito abatement program a month ahead of schedule in 2016, due largely to the emergence of the Zika virus.

Members of the Dallas City Council Quality of Life and Environmental Committee will hear a proposal Monday from Assistant City Manager Joey Zapata to begin the city's public education campaign on March 1.

The public education campaign involves radio advertisements aimed at encouraging people to adhere to the four D's: Drain standing water, avoid outdoor activity at Dawn/Dusk, use mosquito repellent with DEET and Dress with long sleeves, pants.

The Zika virus, spread primarily through infected mosquitoes, has been deemed a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the World Health Organization. Zika outbreaks have been reported in several countries, many of which are in South and Central America, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

To date, no local mosquito-borne Zika virus disease cases have been reported in the United States, but there have been travel-associated cases, according to the CDC, meaning that people have traveled to areas where Zika is known to be, become infected and then returned to the U.S.

In addition, a Dallas County case of Zika has been linked to unprotected sexual contact involving a person infected with the virus.

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