OSWEGO COUNTY – The New York State Department of Health has notified the Oswego County Health Department that additional evidence of the Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus and the West Nile virus (WNV) was found in test sites around the county from samples that were taken prior to the aerial spraying that was conducted on August 17.
Two mosquito pools tested positive for EEE, one in the village of Central Square and the other in the town of West Monroe. Both sites are part of the target area that was sprayed last weekend.
Four mosquito pools tested positive for WNV, two in the village of Central Square, one in New Haven and one in the town of Palermo.
The Palermo site is the only new location to receive positive test results. The first three sites were previously identified.
“The results we received this week were from collections that were taken before the county conducted aerial spraying last Saturday,” said Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang. “Although the aerial spray was very effective in reducing some of the targeted mosquito populations, recent surveillance shows that mosquitoes are still there which means that viruses might still be present. We are working closely with the state health department to monitor the situation.”
Huang added that everyone still needs to be vigilant to prevent exposure to mosquitoes.
“It is very important that people continue to follow personal protection measures,” he said.
The Oswego County Health Department urges residents to continue taking the following precautions:
• Use insect repellent properly. Those that contain DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus are most effective but should be used with care. Read the product label and use according to package instructions.
• Limit outdoor activities in areas where mosquitoes are most active and between dusk and dawn which is the peak mosquito biting time.
• If you have to be outside, wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, shoes and socks as weather permits.
In addition, residents can follow these protective measures to minimize mosquito populations in and around their homes and properties:
• Repair or replace all window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
• Reduce or eliminate all standing water from pails, recycling containers, wheelbarrows, wading pools, pool covers and similar water-holding containers.
• Clear roof gutters, remove leaf debris from yards and gardens, and clean vegetation and debris from the edge of ponds.
• Change the water in birdbaths and horse troughs twice a week.
For more information about mosquito-borne diseases, 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 New York State Department of Health Web site at http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/west_nile_virus/