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

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September 4, 2008

Second Pool of Mosquitoes Tests Positive for EEE

Dr. Dennis Norfleet, Interim Public Health Director for the Oswego County Health Department, announced today that the Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus was found in a pool of mosquitoes collected near the village of Central Square in August. This is the second isolation of EEE in Oswego County this summer. The virus was found in a species of mosquito that feeds on birds, not in mosquitoes that feed on humans or mammals, said Dr. Norfleet.

Dr. Norfleet said people in and near Central Square should be aware of the presence of the virus and take precautionary measures to protect against mosquito bites. The mosquitoes were collected Aug. 18 east of the village of Central Square and sent to the state health department's Wadsworth Center Laboratories near Albany for testing.

“The fact that the mosquito population declines steadily during the month of September is in our favor,” said Dr. Norfleet. “We continue to work with the New York State Health Department and are closely monitoring the population of bird-biting and mammal-biting species. Aerial spraying against mosquitoes is not warranted at this time.”

EEE is transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. In rare cases, EEE causes inflammation and swelling of the brain. Symptoms include sudden high fever, muscle pains, and a headache of increasing severity. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek medical attention.

To help reduce the risk of EEE and other viruses carried by mosquitoes, people should:

  • Avoid outdoor activities during dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.

  • Wear shoes, long pants with bottoms tucked into boots or socks, and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors for long periods of time.

  • Use mosquito repellent according to label directions.

  • 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.

For more information about EEE and other viruses that are transmitted by 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.


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