by Carol Thompson
“We’ve repeatedly asked the public to protect themselves against mosquito bites yet we have done nothing to protect them.”
Oswego County Legislator Amy Tresidder spoke those words several times during the past month as West Nile virus has been on the increase in Oswego County and nationwide.
As of press time, the county has no plans to conduct aerial spraying for the mosquitoes, despite finding pools of the vector infected with the virus.
Last week, health officials reported that there are now 1,590 cases of West Nile virus confirmed in humans across the United States, and 66 deaths — the most since the mosquito-borne disease was first identified in 1999.
The disease in now in 48 states, including New York.
As of last week, the U.S. Center for Disease Control has reported 13 cases of the virus in New York state with one death. The death was in neighboring Onondaga County, which has since reported two more suspected cases. Texas leads the nation with 733 cases and 30 reported deaths.
Tresidder questioned the fairness of asking the public to take precautions while the county does nothing more than publicize the need to take precautions.
“We were told earlier in the year that we have additional money from the state for aerial spraying,” she said. “Why aren’t we using it?”
Mosquito dunk kits remain available at the county’s soil and water office, county officials said. The kits can be used to eliminate mosquitoes in standing water.
To read the rest of the story, pick up a copy of the Valley News at our office or at one of several locations throughout the City. For Subscriptions call 598-6397.