OSWEGO COUNTY – Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang said today that mosquitoes carrying the West Nile (WNV) virus are still present at test sites around the county and residents should continue to take measures to protect themselves against mosquito bites.
“The aerial spray we conducted earlier this month was effective in reducing some mosquito populations; however, spraying does not eliminate all mosquitoes. The surveillance shows that the virus is still present in mosquitoes,” said Huang. “We want people to continue their efforts to prevent mosquito bites, even though the summer is officially over.”
Huang added, “With cooler temperatures in the evenings, mosquitoes are less active, but they are not gone altogether. We need to have a couple of heavy frosts before they will be eliminated. Until then, people need to be vigilant to prevent exposure to mosquitoes.”
It is very important that people take personal protective measures to reduce their chances of being exposed to diseases carried by mosquitoes such as the West Nile and Eastern equine encephalitis viruses.
People should use insect repellents when they are outside, and reduce the mosquito population around their homes by emptying pails, swimming pool covers, flower pots and other containers of standing water around the home and yard.
Huang also advises residents to:
Avoid areas where mosquitoes concentrate and limit outside activity between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
Use insect repellent. Repellents containing DEET are the most effective, but should be used with caution and according to label instructions.
Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt if you are outdoors for long periods of time.
Replace or repair broken screens.
For more information about mosquito-borne viruses, 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 Web site at http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/west_nile_virus/fact_sheet.htm or www.health.state.ny.us/diseases/communicable/eastern_equine_encephalitis/fact_sheet.htm