Oswego County Public Information Office, 46 East Bridge St., Oswego, NY 13126

[Public Information Main Menu] [Oswego County Homepage]

July 29, 2004

Oswego County Health Department Reminds People to Protect Against Mosquitoes

The Oswego County Health Department is advising residents to take personal protective measures against mosquitoes this summer. This is especially important because the Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus has been found near Cicero Swamp in Onondaga County.

"Historically, when the EEE virus appears in Onondaga County, it frequently turns up in Oswego County as well," said Oswego County Health Commissioner Kathleen Smith.

People can reduce their chances of being exposed to viruses carried by mosquitoes by using insect repellents, and by reducing the mosquito population around their homes.

  • Use a mosquito repellent according to label directions.
  • Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt if you are outdoors for long periods of time, and when mosquitoes are most active, between dusk and dawn.
  • Empty pails, swimming pool covers, flower pots and other containers of standing water around the home and yard.
  • Remove all discarded tires from around your property.
  • Replace or repair broken screens.

Insect repellents that contain DEET are effective but should be used with caution.

"DEET comes in many different concentrations, with percentages ranging from as low as five percent to as high as 100 percent," said Smith. "Make sure to read the label for safety instructions and always follow the directions on the package."

Here are some basic safety tips to remember when using insect repellents:

  • Do not apply repellent to cuts, wounds or irritated skin.
  • Do not apply repellents in small, enclosed areas.
  • Do not apply repellent directly to your face. Spray your hands and then rub them carefully over your face, avoiding your eyes and mouth.
  • Do not apply repellents under clothing.
  • Wash treated skin with soap and water after returning indoors.
  • Do not allow young children to apply repellent on themselves.
  • Do not apply repellent directly on a child. Apply it to your own hands and then put it on the child. Avoid the child's eyes and mouth.
  • Do not apply repellent to a child's hands, since children tend to put their hands in their mouths.

For more information about viruses that are transmitted by mosquitoes, call the Oswego County Health Department at 349-3564 or visit the New York State Department of Health web site at www.health.state.ny.us.

Questions about the Oswego County Public Information Office?