A Seaford teenager is undergoing precautionary blood testing after finding a hypodermic needle under her beach towel on Jones Beach earlier this week.
The needle didn’t pierce her skin, but Anna Gagliano, 15, said she felt something poke her in the back after she laid on the towel Tuesday at Field 4.
After she moved the towel and felt another poke, she said she searched and found the needle and syringe in the sand.
“I was freaking out. I actually almost cried. I was thinking, ‘What the heck just happened?’ ” Gagliano said Saturday. “I was trying to think what it was used for.”
Gagliano said she reported the syringe to lifeguards and was treated on the beach by paramedics, who checked and cleaned her back.
The family’s doctor reported the incident to the state Department of Health, which advised a series of blood tests for diseases including HIV and hepatitis, Gagliano said. She said she will be tested again in six weeks; 12 weeks; and 24 weeks.
Syringes have been found on Long Island beaches in the past, but the discoveries are rare, officials said. Long Island beaches usually attract about 13 million visitors each year.
Park employees clean beaches and use a surf rake to sweep sand daily, said George Gorman, deputy regional director of Long Island state parks.
Gagliano said the “scary” incident won’t stop her from returning to the beach.
“I can’t let one syringe in a freak accident stop me from enjoying my summer off from school,” she said.