OSWEGO – Inga Back, Acting Public Health Director of the Oswego County Health Department, announced this morning that the New York State Department of Health found evidence of West Nile virus in two collections of mosquitoes in the village of Central Square.
There are no known human cases of West Nile virus in Oswego County at this time.
Back said the Health Department was notified late Monday afternoon of the presence of West Nile in mosquitoes collected July 2 and July 4 in Central Square.
“This is a little earlier than what we’ve typically seen with West Nile virus in previous years,” said Back. “However, the virus has already appeared in Onondaga County and is now present in five counties 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.”
“Protecting yourself against mosquito bites is the best way to avoid the transmission of mosquito-borne illnesses,” Back added.
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.
In addition, 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 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 Web site at www.health.state.ny.us