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

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Aug. 16, 2006

Oswego County Plans to Spray Toad Harbor Area Thursday Evening

Map of Toad Harbor Area

Area inside green line is scheduled for aerial spraying from 7 to 9 p.m. Aug. 17.

The Oswego County Health Department will conduct an aerial spray of the Toad Harbor Swamp on the north shore of Oneida Lake from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday evening, Aug. 17, weather permitting.

The pesticide permethrin will be applied to help reduce the spread of Eastern equine encephalitis, a rare but serious virus that is spread by infected mosquitoes. The affected area extends from Toad Harbor and Big Bay swamps on Oneida Lake, west to U.S. Route 11 in Central Square, north to NYS Route 49, and east to the village of Constantia.

Kathleen Smith, Public Health Director of the Oswego County Health Department, said that tests of mosquitoes collected by the state Health Department indicate that the EEE virus is active in this area.

“Aerial spraying is a control measure that will help to reduce the risk of human infection,” said Smith. “Although the insecticide is applied at low concentrations, and is not expected to cause adverse health effects, we advise people to stay indoors and keep windows and doors closed for one hour after the spraying.”

Residents are also advised to:

  • Keep pets indoors.
  • Close the vents on window air conditioners so that outside air doesn’t enter the home for one hour.
  • Remove outdoor toys, outdoor furniture, and clothing from the clothesline. Items left outdoors should be washed thoroughly with soap and water before using.
  • If you are driving through an area while spraying takes place, close your car windows and vents.
  • Cover gardens, or rinse homegrown fruits and vegetables thoroughly before cooking or eating.

Smith said people should also take steps to eliminate mosquitoes around their homes by eliminating sources of standing water.

“EEE is a rare but serious infection that affects humans and horses,” said Smith. “The best ways to protect yourself are to stay away from any areas where mosquitoes might concentrate, and to limit your outside activities during dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.”

She recommends wearing shoes and socks, long sleeve shirts and long pants, and using an insect repellant that contains DEET. DEET should be applied over clothing according to the label instructions.

Beekeepers and organic farmers in the affected area should notify the Oswego County Health Department of their location before Thursday afternoon. For information, call the Oswego County Health Department at 349-3557 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 3557, weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. After 4 p.m., call 341-0086.

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