July 22, 2014
OSWEGO - With the summer now in full swing, the Oswego County Health Department is reminding peopleto protect themselves from mosquito bites to guard against diseases such as Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) and West Nilevirus.
"These viral infections can cause serious illness such as severe headache, high fever, disorientation, seizures, brain swelling or, in some cases, death," said Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang. "The bestdefense we have from these viruses is to use our personal protection measures to guard against mosquito bites. This means using insect repellent properly, wearing protecting clothing, limiting outdoor exposure when and where mosquitoes are most active, and minimizing their populations around your house and property."
Insect repellents that contain DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus are effective but should be used withcare. Repellents containing permethrin are meant for clothing and gear and should not be applied directly to the skin. Also, repellents containing DEET should not be applied to skin under clothing. Read the product label and use according to package instructions.
Limit outdoor activities between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active. "We understand that keeping away from the outdoors isnot always practical. If you have to be outside,wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, shoes and socks as weather permits," said Huang.
Other precautions people can take to minimize mosquito populations are to repair or replace all window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside, and to reduce or eliminate all standing water.
Additionalpreventative measures include:
" Dispose of old tires.Used tires are a significant mosquito breeding site and are accepted at all Oswego County transfer stations. There is a minimum $10 scale fee for tires. Contact the Oswego County Solid Waste Department at 591-9200 for details.
For more information about protecting your family against mosquitoes, call the Oswego County Health Department at 315-349-3547 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 3547, or visit the New York State Department of Health Web site at www.health.ny.gov
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