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

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July 17, 2008

Oswego County Health Department Reminds People to Protect Against Mosquitoes

The Oswego County Health Department is reminding people to take protective measures against mosquitoes this summer.

“Although the chances of a person becoming ill are small, mosquito-borne viruses such as Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile can cause serious illness or death,” said Dr. Dennis Norfleet, Interim Public Health Director for the Oswego County Health Department.

EEE and West Nile virus are spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. In rare cases, the viruses can cause severe infection including inflammation and swelling of the brain. Symptoms include sudden high fever, muscle pains, disorientation, and a headache of increasing severity. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek medical attention.

“There are simple precautions that you can take to reduce your chances of being bitten by mosquitoes,” said Dr. Norfleet. “Wear light-colored clothing, long sleeves, and pants that are loose fitting to help prevent mosquito bites.”

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. The Oswego County Health Department advises people to:

  • 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 or picaridin are effective but should be used with caution.

“Make sure to read the label and use according to package instructions,” said Dr. Norfleet.

For more information about protecting your family against mosquitoes, call the Oswego County Health Department at 349-3564 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 3564, or visit the New York State Department of Health Web site.

The New York State Department of Health monitors West Nile activity by testing samples from birds, mosquitoes, animals and humans. Because crows are very sensitive to West Nile virus, dead crow reports, even without laboratory testing, have been very valuable in providing an early warning of risk to people. To report dead birds, particularly dead crows, contact the Oswego County Health Department at 349-3564 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 3564.

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