Local city officials take precaution against West Nile virus - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Local city officials take precaution against West Nile virus

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In Birmingham, city and school officials are not taking chances with virus. Instead, they've decided to be proactive, with the hope of keeping west Nile from spreading.

ABC 33/40 spoke with Don Lupo with the mayor's office. He says there are 99 neighborhoods in Birmingham. At least once a week, all 99 are sprayed with mosquito repellent.

Lupo says this is something they've always done, and he has no doubt it's part of the reason why Birmingham so far hasn't had reports of the virus.

"We have truck that goes out every night at dusk and they spray throughout the night into the wee hours of the morning," said Lupo.

Don Lupo is director of the mayor's office of Citizens Assistance. He says the mayor William Bell is aware of the outbreak and wants to make sure spraying is a top priority.

"We spray a chemical called bio mist. Bio mist approved by the federal government. It's approved by the Alabama department of environmental management," said Lupo.

Though the spray is not hazardous to anyone's health, lupo says it may cause a headache or burning eyes if you are directly in the path of the chemicals. Still, he says it's better than the alternative.

"There's no question that our spraying has kept the number of west Nile cases down within the city," said Lupo.

For those who wish to take matters into their own hands...they've hit the shelves of local outdoor speciality shops. Joe Phillips works in sales at mark's outdoors. He says this corner of the store has been busier than usual.

"We're having people come in who have obviously read about the west Nile situation coming in and buying it. They'll tell you as soon as they walk in that they've seen or heard something and want to get something to protect them," said Phillips.

Gardendale will start spraying on Monday. Hoover is spraying as well.