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

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Aug. 18, 2006

Aerial Spray Is Successful

Thursday evening's aerial spray of the Toad Harbor and Big Bay Swamps in Oswego County was successful, the Oswego County Health Department reported Friday, Aug. 18.

Mosquito collections conducted by research scientists for the New York State Department of Health arthropod-borne disease program on Friday showed that the aerial spray reduced the mosquito population by approximately 98 percent.

Aerial spraying is a control measure to help reduce the risk of human infection of Eastern equine encephalitis, a rare but serious virus that is spread by infected mosquitoes. Several pools of mosquitoes collected near Central Square and the Toad Harbor Swamp have tested positive for EEE.

The best protection against EEE is to stay away from areas where mosquitoes are active, and to use an insect repellant containing DEET, according to the label instructions. People should also remove standing water around the home, and repair holes in screens and doors.

According to the New York State Department of Health, infection with EEE can cause a range of illnesses. Some people bitten by an infected mosquito will not develop any symptoms; others get only a mild flu-like illness with fever, headache, and fatigue. In rare cases, infection of the central nervous system occurs, causing sudden fever, muscle pains and a headache of increasing severity, often followed quickly by seizures and coma. Inflammation and swelling of the brain, called encephalitis, is the most dangerous complication.

Symptoms appear between five and 15 days after the bite of an infected mosquito.

For more 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. For the New York State Department of Health fact sheet on EEE, visit www.health.state.ny.us/diseases/communicable/eastern_equine_encephalitis.htm

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