OSWEGO – The New York State Department of Health has notified the Oswego County Health Department that West Nile virus was found in a mosquito pool collected in the village of Central Square last week.
Jiancheng Huang, Public Health Director of the Oswego County Health Department, reminds residents that the first two weeks of August have been the peak weeks of West Nile virus positive mosquito pools over the past few years, and he urges people to take steps to prevent West Nile virus infections.
An Oswego child is recovering at home from West Nile virus. Samples of mosquitoes collected earlier this summer in New Haven and Central Square also tested positive for the virus.
“It is essential that people throughout Oswego County use insect repellents and continue to be proactive in protecting themselves and their families from mosquito bites,” said Huang. “In most people, West Nile virus causes no symptoms, but in some cases it can cause serious health problems and in rare instances can lead to death.”
The Health Department collects samples of mosquitoes from several areas of Oswego County to look for evidence of West Nile and Eastern equine encephalitis viruses.
People in Oswego County should take the following precautions:
Use insect repellent properly. Repellents containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus are the most effective and should be used according to package instructions.
Whenever possible, limit outdoor activities in areas where mosquitoes are most active and between dusk and dawn which is the peak mosquito-biting time.
As weather permits, wear protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts, long pants, shoes and socks.
Many mosquitoes that can transmit West Nile Virus lay their eggs in stagnant water around the home.
Mosquitoes can breed in any stagnant water that lasts more than four days.
People should follow these protective measures to minimize mosquito populations in and around their homes and properties:
Install or repair all door and window screens.
Reduce or eliminate all standing water from old tires, pails, recycling containers, flower pots, wheelbarrows, wading pools and pool covers.
Change the water in birdbaths and horse troughs twice a week.
For more information on West Nile virus, call the Oswego County Health Department weekdays at 315-349-3547 or visit the New York State Department of Health’s web site at http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/west_nile_virus/fact_sheet.htm