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City sprays boro for West Nile after boro woman gets disease

The DOH was scheduled to spray sections of Rosedale, Laurelton and Springfield Gardens sometime between 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and early Thursday morning, the department said.

A number of borough roads were expected to be sprayed, including Hungary Harbor Road, Hook Creek Boulevard, 135th Avenue, 226th Street, Springfield Boulevard, Farmers Boulevard and Rockaway Boulevard, the department said.

The department said the spraying was an effort to reduce mosquito activity and the threat of West Nile virus in the borough.

A DOH spokeswoman said a 73-year-old Queens woman was the only borough resident so far this year to be infected with the virus. The department said the woman is recovering in a Queens hospital after becoming infected in mid-August, but would not disclose from which borough neighborhood she hailed.

Two other city residents, including a 57-year-old man and a Bronx resident, have also been infected with the virus, the department said.

The disease was first discovered in the United States in 1999 in College Point.

The department said it would spray Queens neighborhoods with sumithrin, a synthetic pesticide that poses no significant health risks. The agency said that borough residents, especially persons with asthma or other respiratory conditions, should stay indoors during spraying.

According to the DOH Web site, West Nile virus was detected in mid-August at mosquito pools in College Point, Bayside, Douglas Manor, Auburndale, Corona, West Maspeth, Whitestone, Floral Park, South Jamaica, Sunnyside, Cambria Heights, Middle Village, Howard Beach, Laurelton, Rosedale and Far Rockaway.

The city sprayed sections of Bayside, Little Neck, Douglaston, Glen Oaks, Oakland Gardens, Floral Park and Bellerose earlier this week.

The virus, found in both tropical and temperate climates, typically affects birds. But there have also been numerous cases of the disease, which can cause deadly infections in the brain and spinal cord, being found in humans, dogs and other mammals.

The most common method of humans becoming infected with the virus is through a mosquito bite.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at nduke@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.

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