A case of West Nile fever in the Pasadena area of Anne Arundel County has prompted the Maryland Department of Agriculture to begin spraying in the neighborhood beginning next week.

The work, done in cooperation with the county and cooperating communities, is scheduled for Sept. 7 and 14, weather permitting, in the vicinity of Mountain Road and Waterford Road. It will begin at 8 p.m. and could continue until 2 a.m. Residents are advised to avoid outdoor activity on spray nights.

"We have one community there that does participate in adult [mosquito] surveillance and control programs. Others do not," said Mike Cantwell, chief of the state's mosquito program. "We are attempting to get in to spray in those areas."

Spraying for virus suppression is also being conducted in the Maryland Manor and St. Helena's Park communities in the Dundalk area of Baltimore County, where West Nile virus has been detected in mosquito pools.

Four Central Maryland residents have been diagnosed with the mosquito-borne illness, so far this season, according to Kimberly C. Mitchell, chief of rabies and vector-borne diseases at the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

None of the cases was fatal. "This is all really very routine and normal. Every year we expect to see human [cases] with onset in late July or early August," she said

In 2010 the state saw 23 human cases, well below the 73 human cases seen at the peak of the imported virus' activity in 2003. There may be more this year. "We often see human [cases] to the end of October," Mitchell said.

Frank.roylance@baltsun.com

http://twitter.com/froylance

Maryland weather blog: Frank Roylance on meteorology

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