May 5, 2004
Take Steps Now to Control Mosquitoes and West Nile Virus
Now that spring has arrived in Oswego County, the black flies are out and the mosquitoes will soon follow. Since 1999, when it was first found in New York State, West Nile virus has been a concern when warm weather approaches.
"West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne infection that can cause encephalitis and serious health problems. While the chances of a person getting encephalitis are small, people ages 50 and older are at higher risk than other residents," said Kathleen Smith, Commissioner of the Oswego County Health Department.
There are about 70 species of mosquitoes in New York State. Only a handful of them can transmit West Nile virus. Mosquitoes are most often active around dusk and dawn when the air is calm, but some species will bite during the daytime.
Because West Nile virus is spread by mosquitoes, it is important that everyone to take steps to avoid mosquito bites. You can help to reduce your risk of mosquito bites if you:
Many mosquitoes that can transmit West Nile virus lay their eggs in stagnant water around the home. Any poor drainage around the yard can provide an outdoor home for mosquitoes to breed.
To reduce the mosquito population in and around your home, reduce or eliminate all standing water by following these steps:
To learn more about how to reduce your risk of West Nile virus, call the New York State Department of Health toll free number, 1-800-458-1158 or visit www.health.state.ny.us/nysdoh/westnile/
Questions about the Oswego County Public Information Office?