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Zika Has Dallas Getting Early Start On Mosquito Plan

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DALLAS (CBS11) - With the emergence of the Zika virus, the City of Dallas is starting its mosquito abatement plan early this year.

The city's public education campaign will begin in March. Typically, the city waits until May when mosquito trapping and testing begins.

The campaign will focus on the four Ds; drain standing water, don't go outside during dusk and dawn, use DEET spray when outside, and dress in long sleeves and pants.

"The message isn't new," said Dallas' Director of Code Compliance Kris Sweckard. "Our real role is to find new ways in getting that same message out there, because that is an effective message."

Sweckard said the city will focus on using social media to get its message out to the public, especially considering the new targeted audience due to the Zika virus.

While the elderly and sick are most susceptible to complications connected to the West Nile virus, young pregnant women are most vulnerable to the Zika virus.

Sweckard said despite the mild winter, there's no way to know how bad the mosquito season will be this year until the city begins trapping them in May.

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