OSWEGO COUNTY – The Oswego County Health Department reports that the eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus has been found in mosquitoes collected in the village of Central Square and on county Route 6, south of NYS Route 3, in Volney. The virus was previously found in mosquitoes collected at Toad Harbor/Big Bay Swamp in West Monroe and in the northeastern section of the Town of Palermo.
Staying away from areas where mosquitoes concentrate, and limiting outside activity between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active, are the best forms of protection against the virus, emphasizes Oswego County Public Health Director Dr. Dennis Norfleet.
“The virus continues to be active and has spread beyond the Oneida Lake area,” said Dr. Norfleet. “Residents in the southern half of Oswego County need to be especially vigilant and take personal protective measures to reduce their chances of being exposed to EEE and other viruses, such as West Nile, that are carried by mosquitoes.”
The mosquitoes were collected during routine sampling conducted by the Oswego County Health Department and the New York State Department of Health.
“The dry weather we experienced much of this summer has kept the mosquito population somewhat lower than normal,” said Dr. Norfleet. “Due to this and other factors, we do not plan to conduct mosquito control spraying at this time. Our surveillance program will continue and, as data presents itself, we will continue to re-evaluate any need for mosquito control actions, including spraying.”
He advises people to:
- Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors for long periods of time and at dawn and dusk.
- Use mosquito repellent. Repellents containing DEET are the most effective, but should be used with caution and according to label instructions.
- Repair or replace broken screens in doors and windows.
- Empty pails, swimming pool covers, flower pots and other containers of standing water around the home and yard to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds.
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 New York State Department of Health Web site at www.health.state.ny.us/diseases/communicable/eastern_equine_encephalitis/fact_sheet.htm