OSWEGO, NY – The Oswego County Health Department reported that the eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus was found in two pools of mosquitoes collected during the week of July 15.
One sample was collected at Toad Harbor/Big Bay Swamp in West Monroe and the second was taken from the northeast section of the Town of Palermo.
The samples were sent to the state health department’s Wadsworth Center Laboratories near Albany for testing. The Toad Harbor site is a long-time surveillance location known to periodically harbor the virus. The sample taken from the Palermo site was also part of a routine collection.
“The surveillance program conducted by Oswego County and the New York State Department of Health indicate the mosquito populations are much lower than they were last year at this time, due to the dry weather we are experiencing this summer,” said Dr. Dennis Norfleet, Public Health Director for the Oswego County Health Department. “Based on this, along with other factors, the department has determined it does not need to commence mosquito control spraying at this point in time.”
Dr. Norfleet added, “We will continue our surveillance program and, as data presents itself, will re-evaluate any need for mosquito control actions, including spraying.”
It is very important that people take personal protective measures to reduce their chances of being exposed to EEE and other viruses carried by mosquitoes such as the West Nile virus.
Dr. Norfleet advises that staying away from areas where mosquitoes concentrate and limiting outside activity between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active, are two of the best measures people can take.
Other precautions include:
Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors for long periods of time and at dawn and dusk.
Use mosquito repellent. Repellents containing DEET are the most effective, but should be used with caution and according to label instructions.
Repair or replace broken screens in doors and windows
Empty pails, swimming pool covers, flower pots and other containers of standing water around the home and yard to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds
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 Web site at www.health.state.ny.us/diseases/communicable/eastern_equine_encephalitis/fact_sheet.htm