The Oswego County Health Department announced that a horse in the town of Richland contracted the Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus and has died.
Testing sites in the Toad Harbor Big Bay Swamp area in the town of Hastings are also continuing to produce positive results.
“While there is less EEE activity around the county since we conducted aerial spraying, the virus is still present at our test sites,” said Dr. Dennis Norfleet, public health director of the Oswego County Health Department. “We are working with the state health department to monitor the situation and residents should continue to use extreme caution and take protective measures to guard against mosquito bites.”
Norfleet added, “Mosquitoes are less active in the fall due to cooler temperatures in the evenings, but they are still here and will continue to be until we have a couple of heavy frosts to eliminate them. Until then, people need to be vigilant to prevent exposure to mosquitoes.”
It is very important that people take personal protective measures to reduce their chances of being exposed to EEE and other viruses carried by mosquitoes such as the West Nile virus.
People should use insect repellents when they are outside, and reduce the mosquito population around their homes by emptying pails, swimming pool covers, flower pots and other containers of standing water around the home and yard.
Norfleet also advises residents to:
Avoid areas where mosquitoes concentrate and limit outside activity between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
Use insect repellent. Repellents containing DEET are the most effective, but should be used with caution and according to label instructions.
Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt if outdoors for long periods of time.
Replace or repair broken screens.
For more information about EEE and other viruses transmitted by mosquitoes, call the Oswego County Health Department at 349-3564 or 1-800-596-3200, ext.3564 between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. or visit the New York State Department of Health Web site at http://www.health.state.ny.us/diseases/communicable/eastern_equine_encephalitis/fact_sheet.htm.