OSWEGO COUNTY – The latest test results of mosquito samples collected near the Toad Harbor Swamp in the town of West Monroe show that the Eastern equine encephalitis virus is still present in the environment, Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang said today (Sept. 5).
“Despite the longer, cooler nights mosquitoes are still around and tests show the virus is too. EEE was found in three samples of mosquitoes collected last week and tested by the New York State Department of Health,” said Huang.
As the mosquito population begins to decline, the health department continues to monitor mosquito and virus activities in collaboration with the state Department of Health. People in all areas of the county should remain vigilant in their personal protection practices to prevent mosquito bites.
This includes using insect repellent; limiting outdoor activities around dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active; wearing long pants, long-sleeved shirts, shoes and socks when outdoors; and eliminating standing water around the home.
Repellents 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 EEE and other viruses transmitted by mosquitoes, call the Oswego County Health Department at 315-349-3564 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 3564 between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays or visit the Oswego County Health Department’s website at http://www.oswegocounty.com/health/index.html. After 4 p.m., call 315-341-0086.