The Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus has been found in two mosquito samples collected recently in Oswego County.
One was taken from West Monroe’s Toad Harbor Big Bay Swamp area and the second near the village of Central Square, said officials with the county’s Health Department.
The mosquitoes were collected during routine sampling conducted by the Oswego County Health Department and the state Department of Health. The samples are sent to the state health department’s Wadsworth Center Laboratories near Albany for testing.
Due to these findings, plans are underway for the county Health Department to conduct aerial spraying in the target area.
The location of the intended spray zone, as well as the date and time of spraying will be announced as soon as plans are finalized to ensure that the public will have ample opportunity to prepare for the event.
Aerial spraying is a control measure to diminish mosquito populations which will help to reduce the risk of human infection from the Eastern equine encephalitis virus. The virus is transmitted by infected mosquitoes and is considered a threat to public health in Oswego County.
Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang emphasizes that aerial spraying is a temporary, partial measure to control the spread of EEE. It is also important for people to continue to take actions that will minimize their risk of being bitten by mosquitoes.
One of these personal protection measures 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.
People should also continue to limit their outdoor activities between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active; wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, shoes and socks when outdoors; and eliminate standing water around the home.
For more information about EEE and other viruses transmitted by mosquitoes, call the Oswego County Health Department at 349-3564 or (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.