OSWEGO COUNTY – The Oswego County Health Department announced today (August 14) that four additional samples of mosquitoes, collected Aug. 6 and Aug. 8 from the Toad Harbor Swamp, have tested positive for the Eastern equine encephalitis virus.
The county is working with the state Department of Health to schedule an aerial spraying of the Toad Harbor Swamp area.
Details will be announced as soon as the schedule is finalized.
“We continue to work closely with state Department of Health to monitor mosquito activity around the area, and we are taking the necessary steps to prepare for aerial spraying to reduce the population of mosquitoes,” said Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang.
Huang said the county is awaiting test results from tissue taken from a horse in West Monroe that died Aug. 9. The horse exhibited neurological symptoms similar to encephalitis.
People are advised to continue using insect repellents when participating in outdoor activities and to take measures to reduce mosquito breeding sites around the home.
Insect repellents that contain DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus are effective. Repellents which contain permethrin are meant for clothing and gear, and should not be applied directly to the skin. Read the product label for repellents and follow package instructions.
People should also limit outdoor activities between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
To reduce mosquito habitat around the home, residents are advised to:
Repair or replace window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside and reduce or eliminate all standing water.
Dispose of old tires. Used tires are a significant mosquito breeding site and are accepted at Oswego County transfer stations. Call the Oswego County Solid Waste Department at 315-591-9200 for details.
Empty or dispose of pails, cans, flower pots, and similar water-holding containers.
Drill holes in the bottoms of recycling containers that are kept outdoors.
Clear roof gutters and be sure they drain properly.
Turn over wheelbarrows and wading pools when not in use.
Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs, and drain pool covers.
Change the water in birdbaths and horse troughs twice a week.
Remove leaf debris from yards and gardens and clean vegetation and debris from the edge of ponds.
Use landscaping to eliminate standing water that collects on your property.
For more information about protecting your family against mosquitoes, call the Oswego County Health Department at 315-349-3547 or visit the New York State Department of Health website at http://www.health.ny.gov/publications/2731/.