The EEE virus found in Palermo

August 4, 2022

The New York State Health Department has notified the Oswego County Health Department that Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus has again been detected in a pool of mosquitoes (sample) collected in the city of Palermo.

County and state health departments are carefully monitoring the situation and will work together to take appropriate action.

“Although the mosquito population is relatively low for this time of year, they are still very active,” said Vera Dunsmoor, acting director of public health for Oswego County. “It is important that people avoid peak mosquito times at dusk and dawn and use insect repellent when participating in outdoor activities. They must also be diligent in reducing mosquito populations around their homes.

Oswego County Public Health Associate Chris Williams said this second pool is from the same location as the first pool which tested positive for the EEE virus this year.

“The county’s mosquito monitoring program begins each spring and continues through the fall,” he said. “We send samples to the state lab for testing every week and this is the time of year when we usually start to receive positive reports.

“The two most important things people can do right now are follow their personal protective practices to guard against mosquito bites and take steps to reduce mosquito breeding sites around their properties,” he added.

Residents are also reminded that wearing protective clothing such as long sleeves, pants, socks and shoes will help protect against mosquito bites.

Insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, or lemon eucalyptus oil are effective. Repellents containing permethrin are intended for clothing and equipment and should not be applied directly to the skin. Read the product label on the repellents and follow the directions on the package.

To reduce the mosquito habitat around the house, residents are encouraged to:

  • Repair or replace window and door screens to keep mosquitoes out.
  • Reduce or eliminate any standing water around your home or property.
  • Get rid of old tires as they are an important breeding ground for mosquitoes. Used tires are accepted at transfer stations in Oswego County. Contact the Oswego County Solid Waste Department at 315-591-9200 for details.
  • Empty or discard buckets, canisters, flower pots or similar water containers.
  • Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers that are kept outdoors.
  • Clear the gutters and make sure they drain properly.
  • Turn wheelbarrows and paddling pools over when not in use.
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs and drain pool covers.
  • Change water in birdbaths and horse waterers 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.

The Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District (OCSWCD) is again distributing free mosquito dip kits for use in certain circumstances. The kits contain a larvicide and should be used according to the instructions provided.

Homeowners can pick up a kit with instructions at their local municipal facility or at the OCSWCD front door at 3105 NYS Rte. 3, Fulton. For more information on mosquito repellent kits, call 315-592-9663 or visit www.oswegosoilandwater.com.

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

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