OSWEGO COUNTY – The Oswego County Health Department advises that, although the days are becoming shorter and the temperatures are beginning to dip, it is important to remember that mosquito-borne illnesses such as Eastern Equine Encephalitis and West Nile Virus will continue to be a threat until the first hard frost of the season.
Residents and visitors to Oswego County must continue to use personal protective measures to prevent mosquito bites as they enjoy outdoor activities this fall.
“Mosquito populations are substantially reduced; however, those that remain may still be infected with the EEE or West Nile viruses,” said Oswego County Public Health Director of Patient Services Judy Lester. “These viruses will remain in our environment until the first heavy frost occurs. Until that time, people in all areas of Oswego County need to remain vigilant and fully protect themselves from mosquito bites.”
Lester advises people to continue to use insect repellents.
Those containing DEET are the most effective, but should be used with caution and according to label instructions.
Products containing picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus are also effective.
Other personal protection measures include:
• Limiting outdoor activities during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
• Wearing long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and shoes and socks when outdoors.
• Emptying pails, containers, swimming pool covers and other outdoor items that hold water around the home and yard.
• Replacing or repairing broken screens.
The health department recently participated in an event sponsored by the Oswego County ATV Club and made insect repellent wipes and information about EEE and WNV available to participants.
Repellent was also distributed and is available in Pulaski at the H. Douglas Barclay Courthouse and in Altmar at the Salmon River Fish Hatchery, the Tailwater Lodge, the Altmar Hotel, and other businesses in the village.
Organizations and businesses that would like to have a representative from the health department come to their site to provide information about mosquito-borne illnesses or distribute insect repellent can call the department at 315-349-3547 to set up a meeting.
For more information about EEE and other viruses transmitted by mosquitoes, visit the Oswego County Health Department’s Web site at www.oswegocounty.com/health or call the department at 315-349-3564 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 3564 between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays or 315-341-0086 after 4 p.m. and on weekends.