OSWEGO COUNTY – The Oswego County Health Department reported today (Sept. 7) that the Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus was found in three additional mosquito samples collected in the Toad Harbor Swamp.
The new samples of infected mosquitoes were collected in the same vicinity of two samples that tested positive for EEE in late August.
Due to these findings, the Oswego County Health Department is taking the necessary steps to conduct aerial spraying of 10,000 acres in and around the Toad Harbor Swamp.
The county health department is working with the state Department of Health and has requested the state to declare EEE an imminent threat to public health in Oswego County.
“We are taking the necessary steps for the county to conduct aerial spraying,” said Jiancheng Huang, Oswego County Public Health Director. “The date and time of spraying will be announced as soon as plans are finalized, to ensure that the public will have ample opportunity to prepare.”
Huang said that aerial spraying is a temporary, partial measure to control the spread of EEE.
People should also limit their 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.
The spray area will be in the towns of Hastings, West Monroe and Constantia within these 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 shoreline of Oneida Lake to the south. The pesticide will not be applied over the open waters of Oneida Lake.
When spraying plans are finalized, information regarding the pesticide will be posted on the county website at www.oswegocounty.com.
Residents within the aerial spray zone will be notified of the aerial spraying by the Hyper-Reach Broadcast Notification Service through Oswego County’s E-9-1-1 Emergency Communications Department.
If spraying is postponed due to weather conditions, residents will be notified through the news media and information will be posted on the Oswego County website at www.oswegocounty.com.
Oswego County residents who would like to receive community alerts by wireless phones, text messages and TTY may register for the Hyper-Reach Broadcast Notification Service through Oswego County’s E-9-1-1 Emergency Communications Department at https://secure.hyper-reach.com/comsignup.jsp?id=12481, or they may contact the E-9-1-1 administrative office at 349-8215 or 1-800-679-3911 and request a registration form. Landline phone customers don’t need to register because their numbers are provided to the E-9-1-1 department by the telephone companies that serve Oswego County.
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 the New York State Department of Health website at www.health.state.ny.us/diseases/communicable/eastern_equine_encephalitis/fact_sheet.htm.