Health Department advises residents to continue precautions against mosquitoes

OSWEGO COUNTY – The Oswego County Health Department announced today that the Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV) was found in one mosquito sample, and the West Nile virus (WNV) was found in another, separate mosquito sample. Both samples were taken last week from the village of Central Square.

Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang said, “Cooler, drier fall weather will help to reduce the mosquito population; however, mosquitoes remain a threat in the environment until the first heavy frost. It is very important for people to continue to follow their personal protection practices and reduce mosquito populations around their homes. Preventing mosquito bites remains the best protection against mosquito-borne diseases.”

The Oswego County Health Department advises people to:

- Avoid being outdoors during the periods when mosquitoes are most active, primarily around dawn and dusk.

- Use a mosquito repellent if outdoors. Those that contain DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus are effective. Repellents containing permethrin are meant for clothing and gear and should not be applied directly to the skin. Read the product label and follow package instructions.

- Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt if outdoors for long periods of time and when mosquitoes are most active.

- Reduce mosquito habitat around the home and yard by draining or removing standing water in places such as recycling containers, flowerpots, bird baths and roof gutters.

- Mosquito larvicide “dunk” packs, suitable for treating large containers of water, are available from the Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District. The treatments must be used according to label instructions. For details, call 315-592-9663.

- Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs, and drain pool covers.

- Dispose of old tires. Used tires are a significant mosquito breeding site and are accepted at Oswego County transfer stations for a fee. Call the Oswego County Solid Waste Department at 315-591-9200 for details or visit https://www.oswegocounty.com/departments/infrastructure_facilities_and_technology/solid_waste/faq.php.

- Replace or repair broken screens to keep mosquitoes out.

The Oswego County Health Department is planning to conduct aerial spraying in portions of the towns of Palermo, Mexico and Hastings to reduce the mosquito population.

Spraying will begin after 6 p.m. on tonight, Sept. 16, weather permitting. If the contractor is not able to spray the entire area in one evening, it will be finished tomorrow, Friday, Sept. 17, also weather permitting.

The Oswego County Health Department continues to work closely with the state Department of Health and other partners to monitor mosquito and virus activities, evaluate situations and develop a plan of action based on those assessments. As soon as a plan is made, the community is notified.

For more information about protecting a family against mosquitoes, call the Oswego County Health Department at 315-349-3547, go to https://health.oswegocounty.com/, or visit the New York State Department of Health website at https://www.health.ny.gov/publications/2731/.

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