OSWEGO COUNTY – The Oswego County Health Department reported that the Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus has been found in five new mosquito samples collected last week.
Three of the samples were taken from the town of New Haven, one from the town of Albion, and one from near the village of Central Square.
The mosquitoes were collected during routine sampling conducted by the Oswego County Health Department and the New York State Department of Health and sent to the state health department’s Wadsworth Center Laboratories near Albany for testing.
The Oswego County Health Department also reported that a third horse in southern Oswego County has died of EEE.
The horse, which was stabled on NYS Route 49 in the town of Constantia, died Sept. 10.
Two horses, one in the town of Schroeppel and the other in the town of Palermo, died of EEE in August.
Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang said, “Horse fatalities usually indicate mosquito and EEE virus activities. We have had lower temperatures and have seen fewer mosquitoes in the past few weeks.”
He continued, “Some people may have stopped practicing personal prevention measures. These lab reports remind us that this is not the time to stop these practices. Mosquitoes are still present and active in our environment and I urge people to remain vigilant to protect themselves and their family members from mosquito bites.”
The Oswego County Health Department advises people to limit their outdoor activities between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active, and to 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, changing water in bird baths and horse troughs at least twice a week, 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 their Web site at http://www.oswegocounty.com/health/index.html