The discovery of West Nile virus in Bexley has prompted spraying for mosquitoes in advance of the annual Labor Day weekend block party, which is scheduled for Sunday.

The discovery of West Nile virus in Bexley has prompted spraying for mosquitoes in advance of the annual Labor Day weekend block party, which is scheduled for Sunday.

Bexley service director Bill Harvey said the city has paid the Franklin County Board of Health $2,500 to provide mosquito services. The health department, which hires a contractor that's responsible for spraying and setting mosquito traps, found evidence of West Nile virus while testing a trap last week, Harvey said.

"They are going to spray again because they know we have West Nile here," Harvey said Monday.

The city is requesting residents' help in combating West Nile.

"They need to do everything they can to prevent standing water," Harvey said. "If you see standing water, dump it out. Don't leave trash can lids upside down."

According to the Franklin County Board of Health, West Nile virus can be transmitted to people through the bite of an infected mosquito. Symptoms include mild fever, headache and body aches, often with a skin rash and swollen lymph glands. Fewer than 1 percent of people bitten by an infected mosquito become severely ill.

Amber Breedlove, with the Franklin County Board of Health, said the health department has a mosquito control program in place for several municipalities, villages and townships.

John Grubb, a contract supervisor with Vector Disease Control Inc., which supplies mosquito services for the board of health, said his company has 38 trap sites throughout the county. The traps are put out on a weekly basis in areas with a history of the virus.

Samples are tested and confirmed at the Ohio Department of Health, Grubb said.

If West Nile is found, Vector may spray or poor chemicals into standing water to kill the mosquitoes before they hatch, Grubb said.

"The decision that is made is based on several factors -- history of West Nile, prevalence in the county, the trap numbers and historical data," he said.

Mosquito pools that have tested positive for West Nile this year were located in Bexley, Gahanna, Grandview Heights, Hilliard, Obetz and Clinton, Franklin, Madison, Pleasant and Prairie townships, according to the board of health's Web site.