OSWEGO — The Oswego County Health Department announced one mosquito sample collected last week from the Toad Harbor Swamp area in the town of West Monroe has tested positive for the Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus.
“Even though mosquito populations are relatively low right now, the EEE virus remains active in the environment,” said Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang. “People need to continue to be vigilant in their personal protection practices and guard against mosquito bites as we transition into the fall. Mosquitoes remain a threat until the first heavy frost.”
The Oswego County Health Department is working with the New York State Department of Health to monitor the situation.
People should limit their outdoor activities around dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active and wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, shoes and socks when outdoors. Repellants containing DEET are the most effective but should be used with caution and according to label instructions. Products containing picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus are also effective.
To reduce mosquito habitat around the home, residents are advised to:
• Repair or replace window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside and reduce or eliminate all standing water.
• Dispose of old tires. Used tires are a significant mosquito breeding site and are accepted at Oswego County transfer stations. Call the Oswego County Solid Waste Department at 315-591-9200 for details.
• Empty or dispose of pails, cans, flower pots, and similar water-holding containers.
• Drill holes in the bottoms of recycling containers that are kept outdoors.
• Clear roof gutters and be sure they drain properly.
• Turn over wheelbarrows and wading pools when not in use.
• Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs, and drain pool covers.
• Change the water in birdbaths and horse troughs twice a week.
• Remove leaf debris from yards and gardens and clean vegetation and debris from the edge of ponds.
• Use landscaping to eliminate standing water that collects on your property.
For more information about protecting your family against mosquitoes, call the Oswego County Health Department at 315-349-3547 or visit https://health.oswegocounty.com/.