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

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September 15, 2009

Oswego County Resident Dies of Eastern Equine Encephalitis

The Oswego County Health Department confirmed today that an Oswego County resident who was ill with Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) has died.

“EEE is a rare but serious viral disease that is spread by the bite of infected mosquitoes,” said Oswego County Public Health Director, Dr. Dennis Norfleet. “Its fatality rate is high; between 30 and 70 percent.”

Two earlier cases of human EEE in New York State were also fatal. One occurred in 1971 and the other was in 1983.

While spraying conducted by the Oswego County Health Department helps to control mosquito populations, personal protection measures are the most effective ways to prevent mosquito bites.

Dr. Norfleet added, “We are still in mosquito season, so residents have to continue to protect themselves from mosquito bites. Staying away from areas where mosquitoes concentrate and limiting outside activity between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active are two of the best measures people can take.”

Other precautions include:

  • Wear shoes, socks, long pants with bottoms tucked into boots or socks, and a long sleeved shirt when outdoors for long periods of time and at dawn and dusk.
  • Use mosquito repellent over clothes. Repellants containing DEET are the most effective, but should be used with caution and according to label instructions.
  • Repair or replace broken screens in doors and windows.

For more information about EEE and other viruses transmitted by mosquitoes, call the Oswego County Health Department at 315-349-3564 or 1-800-596-3200, ext.3564 between 8:30am and 4:00 pm or visit the New York State Department of Health Website at www.health.state.ny.us/diseases/communicable/eastern_equine_encephalitis/fact_sheet.htm

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