OSWEGO COUNTY – New York State Department of Health informed the Oswego County Health Department on Tuesday, August 7, that the Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus was detected in two pools of bird-biting mosquitoes collected last week from the field station at Toad Harbor Swamp in the town of West Monroe.
“We are working closely with state Department of Health to monitor mosquito activity around the county and will take actions as deemed appropriate based on consultations with state and regional partners,” said Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang.
Oswego County’s mosquito surveillance program began in early June and, so far, the mosquito population is lower now than at this same time last year.
These two pools are the first positive EEE reports in the county this year.
Huang reminds people in Oswego County to continue using insect repellents when participating in outdoor activities and 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/