OSWEGO – The Oswego County Health Department reported today (Aug. 20) that the Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus has been found in five new mosquito samples collected last week. They were taken from West Monroe’s Toad Harbor Big Bay Swamp area. Of the four samples taken there, one was also positive for West Nile Virus (WNV). A sample from Hastings collected last week was also positive for EEE.
The mosquitoes were collected during routine sampling conducted by the Oswego County Health Department and the New York State Department of Health and sent to the state health department’s Wadsworth Center Laboratories near Albany for testing. The goals of collecting mosquito samples are to monitor mosquito and virus activities and to provide guidance for mosquito control. Aerial spraying is one of the mosquito population control measures.
Aerial spraying conducted earlier in August, along with the recent cooler weather, have been effective in reducing the mosquito population at sampling sites. The Oswego County Health Department will continue to monitor the presence of EEE and WNV, mosquito activities, and weather changes.
“We all know that mosquito activities are low when weather is cool,” said Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang. “But that should not be the reason people reduce their personal protection efforts from mosquito bites. Short term weather changes as well as small local condition changes could drastically change mosquito and virus activities. Therefore people in the county need to constantly practice personal protection measures throughout the whole mosquito season.”
The Oswego County Health Department advises people to limit their outdoor activities between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active, and to wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, shoes and socks whenever possible.
Another personal protection measure is to apply a mosquito repellent containing DEET, Picaridin, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus to prevent mosquito bites. It should not be applied to the face and adults should not put the repellent directly onto children’s skin. Instead, they should put it on their hands and then apply it to the child. Insect repellents should be used according to label instructions.
Residents are also asked to help minimize mosquito populations in and around their houses and properties by eliminating all standing water around the home and repairing or replacing all window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
For more information about EEE and other viruses transmitted by mosquitoes, call the Oswego County Health Department at 315-349-3564 or 1-800-596-3200, ext.3564 between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. or visit the health department’s web site at http://www.oswegocounty.com/health/index.html