OSWEGO COUNTY – The Oswego County Health Department reported that although the mosquito season is winding down, evidence of Eastern equine encephalitis virus continues to be found near the Toad Harbor Swamp on the north shore of Oneida Lake.
The health department collected tens of thousands of mosquito specimens over the summer months and sent 512 pool samples to the state Health Department’s Wadsworth Laboratory to be tested for EEE and West Nile viruses.
A total of 17 pool samples tested positive for EEE in Oswego County, including the most recent reports of mosquitoes collected Sept. 5, Sept. 6 and Sept. 19.
Five samples of mosquitoes tested positive for West Nile virus.
Over the summer, viral activity was found in the towns of Constantia, Hastings, Palermo and West Monroe, with most of the activity concentrated in the Toad Harbor/Big Bay Swamp area on the north shore of Oneida Lake.
Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang advises people in Oswego County to continue to limit their exposure to mosquitoes until after the first hard frost.
“Although the mosquito population has declined, viral activity is still present in the area,” said Huang. “It’s still very important that people remain vigilant about avoiding exposure to mosquitoes.”
People are advised to limit their outdoor activities between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active, wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, shoes and socks when outdoors, and use an insect repellent, such as DEET, Picaridin, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus to prevent mosquito bites.
Insect repellent 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.
“These precautions are the most effective way to prevent mosquito bites,” said Huang.
For more information about EEE, West Nile virus, and other viruses transmitted by mosquitoes, call the Oswego County Health Department weekdays at 315-349-3564 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 3564 between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., or visit http://www.oswegocounty.com/health/index.html.