In valley, Indio at center for fight against Zika

Barrett Newkirk, The Desert Sun – Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Saturdays at dawn, a single-seat helicopter swoops over an Indio neighborhood, low enough that people hear the engine whir before they see the chopper flying just above the trees.

Trailing behind it are four streams of brown mist.

At first, the spraying worried Veronica Cruz, who said the noise would get her out of bed.

“Later we found out it was because of the mosquitoes,” Cruz said.

The Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District has used the helicopter since February to target the area the public agency says has become the epicenter of its battle with an invasive species of mosquito capable of spreading the Zika virus and other dangerous diseases. The aerial spraying is expected to continue well into April.

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