OSWEGO – The Oswego County Health Department reported today that the Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus has been found in five new mosquito samples collected recently. Four were taken from the Toad Harbor Big Bay Swamp area in the town of West Monroe and near the village of Central Square where aerial spraying was conducted on Aug. 1.
The fifth was a sample collected from traps in the northern portion of the town of Palermo.
Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang said, “The most recent results from Toad Harbor Big Bay are from mosquitoes collected before the aerial spraying event, which was successful in reducing the mosquito population in that targeted area.”
The Oswego County Health Department looked at a variety of factors, including the facts that the EEE virus was found in a different area and that mosquitoes are still in their active life cycle at this point in the summer, and has begun to make plans to conduct a second aerial spraying in portions of the towns of Hastings, Mexico, New Haven, Palermo and Volney.
Aerial spraying will take place over the course of two consecutive evenings because of the size of the target area. The date and time of spraying will be announced through the news media and on the county Web site at www.oswegocounty.com as soon as plans are finalized to ensure that the public will have ample opportunity to prepare for the event.
Huang said, “Although aerial spraying can be effective in diminishing mosquito populations, it does not eliminate all mosquitoes. Aerial spraying is only a temporary control measure, and it is still very important for people to continue their efforts to prevent mosquito bites.”
The Oswego County Health Department advises people to limit their outdoor activities between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active, and wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, shoes and socks when outdoors.
Another personal protection measure is to apply a mosquito repellent containing DEET, Picaridin, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus to prevent mosquito bites.
It 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.
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. or visit http://www.oswegocounty.com/health/index.html