OSWEGO COUNTY – The Oswego County Health Department reported today (Aug. 20) that seven new mosquito samples located in the village of Central Square and the towns of West Monroe, Hastings and Constantia have tested positive for the Eastern equine encephalitis virus. In addition, a second horse, this one in the town of Amboy, died of EEE on Aug. 13.
So far this summer, 22 samples of mosquitoes collected from the towns of West Monroe, Hastings and Constantia have tested positive for EEE and two horses, one in the town of West Monroe and one in the town of Amboy, have died from the virus.
Oswego County plans to conduct aerial spraying of approximately 10,000 acres in portions of the towns of Hastings, West Monroe and Constantia this evening, Tuesday, Aug. 20 after 6 p.m.
Aerial spraying is used to reduce the population of mosquitoes that carry the EEE virus, a rare but serious disease that is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. A horse cannot transmit EEE to a person, but infected mosquitoes pose a risk to both humans and horses. EEE vaccine is available for horses. The county health department recommends that horse owners talk to their veterinarian for advice on having their horses vaccinated.
The area to be sprayed is within these boundaries: U.S. Route 11 in Central Square to the west, NYS Route 49 to the north, up to but not including the village of Constantia to the east; and the shoreline of Oneida Lake to the south. Pesticide will not be applied over the open waters of Oneida Lake.
Aerial spraying is dependent on weather conditions. Residents within the spray area will be notified of the spraying by the Hyper-Reach Broadcast Notification Service through Oswego County’s E-9-1-1 Emergency Communications Department. If spraying is postponed due to weather conditions, residents will be notified through the news media and information will be posted on the Oswego County Web site at www.oswegocounty.com.
The health department received permission and permits required to conduct aerial spraying from the state departments of Health and Environmental Conservation. The product Kontrol 30-30, which contains permethrin, will be applied in a diluted form. The county has contracted with Duflo Spray-Chemical from Lowville to conduct the aerial spraying.
A copy of the pesticide label and safety data sheet (SDS) including warnings and fact sheets about permethrin aerial spraying can be found on the Oswego County Web site at www.oswegocounty.com/health/index.html, or obtained by calling the Oswego County Health Department at 315-349-3564 weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. After 4 p.m., call 315-341-0086.
Residents in the spray area should stay indoors and keep windows and doors closed between 6 and 10 p.m. Residents are also advised to:
• Keep pets indoors.
• Close the vents on window air conditioners so that outside air doesn’t enter the home for one hour.
• Remove outdoor toys, outdoor furniture, and clothing from the clothesline. Items left outdoors should be washed thoroughly with soap and water before using.
• If you are driving through an area while spraying takes place, close your car windows and vents.
• Cover gardens, and rinse homegrown fruits and vegetables thoroughly before cooking or eating.
Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang said it is imperative that people take steps to protect themselves against mosquitoes in areas across Oswego County. Aerial spraying can be effective in reducing mosquito populations, but it does not eliminate all mosquitoes.
“Aerial spraying is a temporary control measure,” said Huang. “It is still very important for people throughout Oswego County to continue their efforts to prevent exposure to mosquitoes.”
People should limit their outdoor activities around dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active; use insect repellents and wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, shoes and socks when outdoors; and eliminate 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.
Oswego County residents who would like to receive community alerts by wireless phones, text messages and TTY may register for the Hyper-Reach Broadcast Notification Service through Oswego County’s E-9-1-1 Emergency Communications Department at https://secure.hyper-reach.com/comsignup.jsp?id=12481, or they may contact the E-9-1-1 administrative office at 315-349-8215 or 1-800-679-3911 and request a registration form. Landline phone customers don’t need to register because their numbers are provided to the E-9-1-1 department by the telephone companies that serve Oswego County.