The Oswego County Health Department has received notification that 12 additional pools of mosquitoes have tested positive for the Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus. Eleven of the pools were collected from the Toad Harbor/Big Bay Swamp area and one came from a trapping site located along Lot 10 Road in the Town of Palermo.
As a result of these findings Oswego County plans to conduct an aerial spray of the Toad Harbor/Big Bay area on the north shore of Oneida Lake around the middle of next week. This will be the second time this year the area has required treatment.
Weather conditions throughout the summer have created conditions favorable for high numbers of mosquitoes in the Toad Harbor/Big Bay swamp area.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The presence of the EEE virus in 11 pools of mosquitoes represents a level of viral activity in that area that is just too high,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Dr. Dennis Norfleet, Oswego County Public Health Director. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Based on our consultation with the New York State Department of Health, we have determined that the level of viral activity in the Toad Harbor/Big Bay area represents a significant threat to public health.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The single positive pool from the Lot 10 Road site marks the second consecutive week a positive pool was found in this area,Ã¢â‚¬Â Dr. Norfleet said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We will continue to monitor this area very closely. However, the low activity does not warrant additional action at this time.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The area to be sprayed is the same as earlier in August. It is approximately 10,000 acres in size and is located within the following boundaries: U.S. Route 11 in Central Square to the west, NYS Route 49 to the north, (up to, but not including) the Village of Constantia to the east, and the north shore of Oneida Lake to the south.
The day and time will depend on weather conditions and the schedule will be announced through the news media. Dry weather, low winds, and temperatures in the 70s or higher, when mosquitoes are most active, are required for the spraying to be most effective.
Dr. Norfleet said the chances of a person getting Eastern equine encephalitis are small, but that residents should continue to take personal protective measures. This includes staying away from areas where mosquitoes might concentrate and limiting outside activities during dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
To protect against mosquito bites, people should wear shoes and socks, long-sleeved shirts, and long pants when outside at dawn and dusk. Insect repellant containing DEET is most effective. It should be applied over clothing and only used according to the label instructions.
For more information, call the Oswego County Health Department at 349-3564 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 3564, weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. After 4 p.m., call 341-0086.