West Nile Virus Found in Oswego County

OSWEGO – Jiancheng Huang, Public Health Director of the Oswego County Health Department, announced this morning (July 31) that the New York State Department of Health found evidence of West Nile virus in mosquitoes collected July 24 near the village of Central Square.

There are no known human cases of West Nile virus in Oswego County at this time.

Huang said the Health Department was notified Tuesday of the West Nile test result.

“The West Nile virus has already appeared in Onondaga County, and in areas near New York City,” said Huang. “As of today, there have been 33 positive collections of West Nile virus in New York State.  It is essential that people use insect repellents and continue to be proactive in protecting themselves and their families from mosquito bites.”

West Nile Virus can cause serious health problems and in rare instances can lead to death. Individuals aged 50 and older are at highest risk for serious illness.

The Oswego County Health Department advises residents to take the following precautions:

– Use insect repellent properly. Repellents containing DEET or picaridin are the most effective and should be used according to package instructions.

– Whenever possible, limit outdoor activities in areas where mosquitoes are most active and between dusk and dawn which is the peak mosquito-biting time.

– As weather permits, wear protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts, long pants, shoes and socks.

Many mosquitoes that can transmit West Nile Virus lay their eggs in stagnant water around the home.  Mosquitoes can breed in any stagnant water that lasts more than four days. People should follow these protection measures to minimize mosquito populations in and around their homes and properties:

– Install or repair all door and window screens.

– Reduce or eliminate all standing water from old tires, pails, recycling containers, flower pots, wheelbarrows, wading pools and pool covers.

– Change the water in birdbaths and horse troughs twice a week.

For more information about the West Nile or other mosquito-borne viruses, call the Oswego County Health Department at 315-349-3547 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 3547, or visit the New York State Department of Health website at http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/west_nile_virus/