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EEE Virus Is Found in Oswego County Town of Palermo

Virus Is Still Active -

OSWEGO COUNTY – The Oswego County Health Department announced today that the Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV) was detected in mosquitoes at a sampling site in the Town of Palermo. This is the first time this year the virus was found at the Palermo location.

Another seven samples of mosquitoes, recently collected from areas of the county where EEEV was confirmed earlier this summer, show the virus is still active.

Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang said, “It is imperative that people throughout Oswego County protect themselves from mosquitoes. If you can do so, avoid being outdoors during the periods when the mosquitoes are most active, primarily around dusk and dawn. If you are outdoors, you should be using insect repellents.”

“EEEV is endemic to our area,” said Huang. “While most of these recent samples were collected prior to the Aug. 24 aerial spraying, our surveillance shows that the virus is still active and in areas beyond our spray boundaries. We are watching these areas very closely.”

The Oswego County Health Department works closely with the state Department of Health to collect and test mosquitoes at the state laboratory as part of the ongoing mosquito monitoring program.

In addition to the Palermo location, EEEV was previously found at sampling sites in Albion, West Monroe, Hastings, Central Square and Constantia. Huang said 23 sample collections of mosquitoes have tested positive for EEEV this summer.

People are advised to always use insect repellents when participating in outdoor activities, and to take measures to reduce mosquito breeding sites around the home.

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

People should also limit outdoor activities between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active, and wear protective clothing such as long sleeves, pants, socks, and shoes when weather permits.

Residents can take these steps to reduce mosquito habitat around the home:

  • Repair or replace window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
  • 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 the label’s instructions. For information call 315-592-9663.
  • Dispose of old tires. Used tires are a significant mosquito breeding site and are accepted at Oswego County transfer stations. Visit https://www.oswegocounty.com/departments/infrastructure_facilities_and_technology/solid_waste/faq.php or 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.
  • 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.

For more information about protecting your family against mosquitoes, call the Oswego County Health Department at 315-349-3547 or visit https://health.oswegocounty.com/.