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August 15, 2011

Oswego County Confirms Human Case of EEE Virus

The Oswego County Health Department confirmed today that an Oswego County child has contracted the Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus.

"EEE is a rare but serious viral disease that is spread by the bite of infected mosquitoes," said Dr. Dennis Norfleet, Oswego County public health director. "We are 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 at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active are two of the best personal protection 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.

Dr. Norfleet added, "The EEE virus cannot be transferred by human to human contact or by horse to human contact. The only way to contract the disease is from a mosquito bite. We are strongly urging residents to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves, whether they are adults or children."

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 Web site at www.health.state.ny.us/diseases/communicable/eastern_equine_encephalitis/fact_sheet.htm.

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