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Aug. 23, 2017

Additional EEE and WNV Found in Oswego County - -

Oswego County Health Department Prepares for Aerial Spraying

OSWEGO COUNTY - The Oswego County Health Department has received notification from New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker of the declaration of an "Imminent Threat to Public Health" for mosquito-borne disease. The declaration enables the County Health Department to take steps, including aerial spraying, to control mosquito populations in Oswego County.

Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang asked for the declaration due to the presence of Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus in samples of bird-biting mosquitoes collected in and around the Toad Harbor Swamp on the north shore of Oneida Lake.

Huang said today that EEE virus was found for the first time in mosquitoes collected last week in Hastings near the Toad Harbor Swamp. EEE and West Nile virus activity continues to be found in samples of mosquitoes collected from the Toad Harbor Swamp area of Constantia and West Monroe.

"In order to reduce the risk of any human cases of EEE, we are planning to conduct aerial spraying of approximately 10,000 acres in and around the Toad Harbor Swamp," said Huang. "Our department is working with the state Department of Health and Duflo Spray Chemical from Lowville to conduct the aerial spray. We have an unsettled weather forecast for the next few days, and the spray schedule will depend on weather conditions. People should continue to protect themselves from mosquito bites by using repellent, wearing pants and long-sleeved shirts when outdoors, and avoiding outdoor activities around dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active."

Aerial spraying is most effective during evening hours when there are warm temperatures, low winds and no precipitation. The date and time of spraying will be announced as soon as plans are finalized, to ensure that the public has ample opportunity to prepare.

"Aerial spraying is a temporary, partial control measure to reduce mosquito populations and reduce the risk of human infection from the EEE virus," said Huang. "It is most effective when it is conducted in a concentrated area with large populations of EEE virus positive mosquitoes. Widespread random spraying is not effective in controlling EEE."

Aerial spraying will reduce the numbers of mosquitoes testing positive for EEE for about one week. It will not remove the virus from the environment.

The spray area will be in the towns of Hastings, West Monroe and Constantia within these boundaries: U.S. Route 11 in Central Square to the west, NYS Route 49 to the north, up to but not including the village of Constantia to the east; and the shoreline of Oneida Lake to the south. The pesticide will not be applied over the open waters of Oneida Lake.

A map of the spray area, pesticide information, and steps for residents to take to prepare for aerial spraying is posted on the Oswego County website at http://www.oswegocounty.com/health/index.html. Pesticide information is also posted on the Oswego County website at http://www.oswegocounty.com.

Residents within the spray zone will be notified of the aerial spraying by the Hyper-Reach Broadcast Notification Service through Oswego County's E-9-1-1 Emergency Communications Department.

Oswego County residents who would like to receive community alerts by wireless phones, text messages and TTY may register for the Hyper-Reach Broadcast Notification Service through Oswego County's E-9-1-1 Emergency Communications Department at https://secure.hyper-reach.com/comsignup.jsp?id=12481, or they may contact the E-9-1-1 administrative office at 315-349-8215 or 1-800-679-3911 and request a registration form. Landline phone customers don't need to register because their numbers are provided to the E-9-1-1 department by the telephone companies that serve Oswego County.

For more information about protecting your family from mosquito-borne diseases, call the Oswego County Health Department at 315-349-3547 or visit the New York State Department of Health website at http://www.health.ny.gov/publications/2731/

The map shows the boundary of Toad Harbor Swamp mosquito spray area in Oswego County. Aerial spraying will take place as soon as weather conditions are conducive. The schedule will be announced on the Oswego County website at http://www.oswegocounty.com, and through the news media. Oswego County residents will also be notified through Oswego County's E-911 Hyper-Reach Broadcast Notification Service.

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