Mosquito spraying set for Fire Island

A mosquito, a carrier for the potentially lethal A mosquito, a carrier for the potentially lethal West Nile virus. Photo Credit: Getty Images

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Suffolk County plans ground spraying Thursday and Friday on Fire Island to control the adult mosquito population, health officials said.

Ground spraying with the pesticide Anvil is scheduled from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. for the communities of Ocean Bay Park, Seaview and Ocean Beach, said the Suffolk County Department of Health Services.

From 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, ground spraying is scheduled for Fire Island Pines, Water Island, Summer Club and Atlantique.

The treatments are weather permitting, health officials said.

Besides being annoying, some mosquitoes' bites transmit West Nile virus to humans. Mosquitoes pick up the virus through feeding on infected birds.

Last year ranked as the second-worst in U.S. West Nile virus cases since the disease was first detected in the United States in 1999, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

Nassau and Suffolk counties reported 14 human cases each last year, including one Nassau death. There are no official cases so far this year in the state.

The chances of experiencing health effects from ground spraying are "quite low," the health department said in a news release, but children and pregnant women should avoid exposure when possible by steering clear of the area during and at least 30 minutes after spraying.

"Common-sense steps" to prevent exposure, the department said, are:

Closing doors, windows and air-conditioning vents during and 30 minutes after spraying.

Bringing indoors laundry, children's toys, pet food and water dishes.

Covering ornamental fish ponds.

Learn more at Suffolk's spraying information hotline 631-852-4939, as well as www.suffolkcountyny.gov/Departments/HealthServices.aspx

With Patricia Kitchen

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