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County sprays for West Nile

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Residents not told, suffer breathing problems
The Ellis County Press

GARRETT - Ellis County officials followed Ennis' lead and sprayed for the West Nile virus Tuesday, Aug. 19 without prior notification, according to residents.

After two cases of elderly hospital patients came up positive for the mosquito-borne virus, Ennis city officials contracted out spraying services with the Dallas Health Department.

Several Garrett residents complained of breathing problems and irritation of their eyes after they spotted county vehicles spraying along residential streets.

'Citizens can call their commissioner if they observe standing water in the public right-of-way,' said Ellis County Communications Clerk Diana Buckley. 'The County Emergency Management Coordinator [Troy Willmon] has obtained some pesticide in the form of seed-like pellets that will eradicate mosquito larvae in standing water.'

Buckley did not say, however, if the county had authorization to spray.

The pesticide, VectoLex WSP, is a common eye and skin irritant, according to Valent Bio Sciences of Illinois, and several ingredients used in the chemical cannot be made public because they are listed as a 'Trade Secret.'

The Environmental Protection Agency lists the chemicals Ennis and the county has used as restrictive use pesticides; scientists have referred to the Ennis pesticides as 'nerve poison.'

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