Mosquito spraying in Nassau on Thursday to stem West Nile

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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Ground spraying to kill mosquitoes will start Thursday in certain parts of Nassau, county health officials said Tuesday.

Trucks will spray the pesticide Scourge from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. in sections with mosquitoes infected by the West Nile virus, including: East Garden City, Garden City, Hempstead, Salisbury, Brookville, Greenvale, Roslyn, East Hills and Old Westbury, officials said.

The spray is intended to control the spread of the virus, which can give people fever, joint pain, general weakness, diarrhea, headaches and rashes. It has been fatal for some Long Islanders who have been bitten by infected mosquitoes in the past few years.

The communities to be sprayed fall into two targeted areas, according to county health and public works officials. One is south of Old Country Road, north of Hempstead Turnpike, west of Merrick Avenue and east of Washington Avenue. The other area is south of Northern Boulevard, north of the Long Island Expressway, west of Post Road/Wheatley Road/Whitney Lane and east of Roslyn Road or Main Street.

If it rains Thursday, spraying will be postponed until Tuesday.

The pesticide Scourge contains resmethrin and piperonal butoxide. Resmethrin is a man-made insecticide found in pesticide products for indoor use and in tick control products for pets. Piperonal butoxide boosts the effectiveness of resmethrin.

Chances of getting sick from exposure to Scourge are low, county officials said, but people in the targeted zones should minimize exposure by staying indoors, with windows and doors shut, turn window fans off and put air conditioners on recirculate mode. Take pets, their food and water, and children's toys indoors, and cover fish ponds during the spraying period, officials said.

Maps of the areas to be treated can be viewed at nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/Health/index.html.

For more information, call the West Nile Virus Treatment Hotline at 888-844-8657 on the days that treatment is scheduled.

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