The Oswego County Health Department advises residents that although aerial spraying appears to have substantially reduced the mosquito population near the north shore of Oneida Lake, it is likely that the Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile viruses (WNV) still remain in the environment.
The health department reports that two new samples of mosquitoes, collected before the Sept. 4 aerial spraying, have tested positive for EEE and West Nile virus. The samples were collected from the 10,000-acre target area in the towns of Hastings, West Monroe and Constantia.
“We may see fewer mosquitoes after effective aerial spraying and as the temperature drops, but those that remain may still be infected with EEE or West Nile virus,” said Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang. “The viruses may remain in our environment until the first heavy frost occurs. Until we have a killing frost, people in all areas of Oswego County need to fully protect themselves from mosquito bites when they participate in outdoor activities.”
Huang advises people to continue to use insect repellents; limit outdoor activities around dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active; wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, shoes and socks when outdoors; and eliminate standing water around the home.
Repellents 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.
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. weekdays or visit the Oswego County Health Department’s website at http://www.oswegocounty.com/health/index.html. After 4 p.m., call 341-0086.