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Mosquito spraying set for Fire Island

Suffolk County is planning to conduct ground spraying Wednesday on Fire Island, weather permitting, to control the adult mosquito population, health officials said.

Ground spraying with the pesticide Anvil is planned for 6 to 10 p.m. on all streets in Ocean Bay Park, Seaview and Ocean Beach, the health department said.

Already announced is Tuesday's planned ground spraying, weather permitting, for 6 to 10 p.m. on all streets in Davis Park and Point O'Woods on Fire Island, also using the pesticide Anvil, 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.

On Friday, Suffolk health officials said that four mosquito samples, collected July 9 from areas in East Northport, Northport and Huntington, had tested positive for West Nile virus. A spokeswoman for the Nassau health department also said on Friday that two samples, collected July 12 in Kings Point and Plandome Manor, had tested positive.

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.

The chances of experiencing health effects from ground spraying are "quite low," the health department said in a 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.

Among the "common sense steps" the department suggests:

Close doors, windows and air-conditioning vents during and 30 minutes after spraying;

Bring indoors laundry, children's toys, pet food and water dishes;

Cover ornamental fish ponds.

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

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