Tuesday, 12 September 2023 22:14

First Report of EEEV, More WNV Found in Oswego County

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First Report of EEEV, More WNV Found in Oswego County Supplied photo

New York State Department of Health informed the Oswego County Health Department today that three mosquito pools (samples) have tested positive for the Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV) for the first time this year.

They were found in Albion, Constantia and West Monroe.

In addition, another three mosquito pools have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). Two samples were taken from Hastings and another from Constantia.

“We are working closely with state Department of Health to monitor mosquito activity around the county and will take actions as deemed appropriate based on consultations with our state partners,” said Oswego County Public Health Director Vera Dunsmoor.

“Mosquito samples are routinely collected from a number of sites around the county and tested at the State’s lab,” said Katelyn Parkhurst, director of Environmental Health for the Oswego County Health Department. “We have had positive West Nile virus results in recent weeks; however, these are the first pools that have tested positive for EEEV in Oswego County this year.”

The health department reminds people across the county to limit outdoor activities between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active, wear protective clothing such as long sleeves, pants, socks and shoes when outdoors and to consider using insect repellents.

Those that contain DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus are most effective. Repellents that contain permethrin are meant for clothing and gear and should not be applied directly to the skin. Be sure to read the product label for repellents and follow package instructions.

Oswego County Associate Public Health Sanitarian Chris Williams offered additional tips to help people reduce mosquito bites.

“Replacing or repairing broken screens and eliminating standing water to reduce mosquito breeding areas in and around homes and properties are vital steps to guard against mosquitoes,” he said. “Clean out clogged gutters to be sure they drain properly, keep rain barrels covered with a screen and use mosquito dunks in ponds to prevent mosquitoes from breeding in these areas.”

Other ways to reduce mosquito habitat around the home include:

  • Emptying or disposing of pails, cans, flowerpots, or similar water-holding containers.
  • Drilling holes in the bottoms of recycling containers that are kept outdoors.
  • Turning over wheelbarrows and wading pools when not in use.
  • Cleaning and chlorinating swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs and drain pool covers.
  • Changing the water in birdbaths and horse troughs twice a week.
  • Removing leaf debris from yards and gardens and cleaning vegetation and debris from the edge of ponds.
  • Using landscaping to eliminate standing water that collects on your property.
  • Disposing of old tires as they are a significant mosquito breeding site. Used tires are accepted at Oswego County transfer stations for a charge. Contact the Oswego County Solid Waste Department at 315-591-9200 for details.

The health department and the Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District (OCSWCD) have partnered to distribute free mosquito dunk kits to be used in certain circumstances. Each kit contains a larvicide and must be used according to the directions included.

Homeowners can pick up a kit at the front desk at the Oswego County Health Department, entrance B, 70 Bunner St., Oswego; at the OCSWCD’s front door, 3105 NYS Rte. 3, Fulton; or at their local municipal facility. For more information about the mosquito dunk kits, call 315-592-9663 or go to www.oswegosoilandwater.com.

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

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