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Local Family Continues The Fight Against EEE

OSWEGO, NY – As the weather starts to heat up, so does The Maggie Sue Glenister Wilcox Foundation’s efforts to battle Eastern Equine Encephalitis.

Sixth Ward Councilor Eric VanBuren received correspondence from Donna Wilcox, on behalf of the Maggie Sue Glenister Wilcox family, requesting permission to place signs in Oswego city parks, to make the community aware of the deadly Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus.

Maggie Sue Glenister Wilcox
Maggie Sue Glenister Wilcox

At its meeting Monday night, the Physical Services Committee gave the request a favorable recommendation.

The Maggie Sue Glenister Wilcox Foundation, is a 501c (3) not-for-profit corporation. It’s a solely volunteer based corporation that was organized by Maggie Sue’s family after her sudden and tragic death on August 14, 2011. Donna Wilcox is Maggie’s aunt.

Its mission is to spread awareness of and push to procure funding for the research and development of a human vaccine for Eastern Equine Encephalitis, more commonly referred to as EEE.

Senator Ritchie Helps Fight The Bite

State Senator Patty Ritchie is joining with Oswego County to “Fight the Bite” and stop the spread of EEE with free tire disposal events taking place on May 17 and June 14.

The events are being held in an effort to help people get rid of waste tires, which often act as breeding ground for disease-carrying mosquitoes.

The events will allow Oswego County residents to drop off  a maximum of eight tires at five locations throughout the county, with the usual $5 fee for tire-drop off being waived.

Farm tractor tires will also be accepted, but must be cut into four pieces.

Electronic waste, such as used TVs, computers and radios will also be accepted free of charge.

Last year, Oswego County residents disposed of more than 2,000 waste tires at free events sponsored by Senator Ritchie.

“One single waste tire left outdoors can act as a breeding ground for more than one million mosquitoes, that’s a scary statistic when you consider the deadly diseases such as EEE and West Nile that are carried by these insects,” said Senator Ritchie. “As summer approaches, the risk for diseases like these increase. That’s why we need to take the necessary precautions now—like eliminating waste tires, to reduce the risks that could put our health and the health of our loved ones in jeopardy.”

Tires may be dropped off from 8 a.m. to noon at the following locations:

Bristol Hill Landfill
3125 NYS Route 3
Fulton, NY 13069
(315) 591-9211

Hannibal Transfer Station
1167 County Route 7
Hannibal, NY 13074
(315) 564-5623

Hastings Transfer Station
1391 US Route 11
Hastings, NY 13076
(315) 668-8821

Pulaski Transfer Station
100 County Route 2A
Pulaski, NY 13142
(315) 298-6062

Oswego Transfer Station
700 E. Seneca St.
Oswego, NY 13126
(315) 349-3439

The free tire disposal events are made possible through $275,000 in the new State Budget that Senator Ritchie helped secure to support efforts to stop the spread of Eastern equine encephalitis, the mosquito-borne illness commonly known as EEE.

Over three years, Senator Ritchie has secured a total of $700,000 in additional state budget funds for EEE prevention.

In addition to the free tire disposal events, the funding will also make possible a number of other initiatives including programs to educate children and families about the dangers of EEE, a low-cost vaccination program for horses, which are particularly susceptible to EEE, funding for a new workgroup tasked with developing vaccines against diseases like EEE and additional mosquito control efforts.

Following the death of 5-year-old Maggie Sue Wilcox from the EEE virus, Senator Ritchie has been leading the effort to raise awareness of the disease and find ways to stop its spread.

The MSGW Foundation can be found on Facebook.

The Wilcox family wants to make sure the public is educated about EEE, so that no other family has to go through what they have. The ultimate goal is to one day have a vaccine available to the general public.

Eastern Equine Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain, the symptoms of which are the sudden onset of a debilitating headache, high fever, chills and vomiting progressing into disorientation, seizures, coma and death.

This illness has no cure.

One in three children or adults who become infected will die and those who may survive typically suffer severe, irreversible and devastating brain damage.

Those most at risk for contracting this virus are children under the age of 15 and adults over the age of 50.

EEE affects horses and other livestock, and rarely occurs in humans. Five human deaths in New York since 1971 all have occurred in Oswego and Onondaga counties, while dozens of horses have succumbed to the virus.

For more information or to make a donation, contact the MSGW Foundation at: Post Office Box 236, New Haven, NY 13121 or 315-592-1033.
Facebook: beawarecauseitsrare Fight Triple E
Email: [email protected]

For tips on how you can protect yourself and your loved ones from mosquitoes and the diseases they carry, please visit www.ritchie.nysenate.gov to view Senator Ritchie’s “Fight the Bite” tip sheet.