July 29, 2005
Health Commissioner Suggests that County Residents Protect themselves from Exposure to Mosquitoes
Oswego County Health Commissioner Kathleen Smith is urging county residents to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites and protect themselves from potential exposure to West Nile virus, Eastern equine encephalitis, and other mosquito-borne diseases.
"West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne infection that can cause encephalitis and serious health problems," said Smith. "Mosquitoes in central New York can also carry Eastern equine encephalitis. While the chances of a person getting encephalitis are small, we should all take steps to reduce the prevalence of mosquitoes around the home."
Dead birds, especially crows, continue to be the most effective indicator of the presence of West Nile virus. People are encouraged to report dead crows, including details about where the bird was found, to the Oswego County Health Department, phone 349-3564. Dead birds may also be reported to a toll-free number: 1-866-537-BIRD.
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:
Additional information is posted on the New York State Department of Health Web site at http://www.nyhealth.gov
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