Onondaga County Interim Health Commissioner, Michelle Mignano, announced today that the New York State Department of Health’s laboratory has reported finding the first evidence of West Nile virus (WNV) in Onondaga County this year in two mosquito pools. One pool was collected at the Taft Road site and the other at the Geddes site which is located off Belle Isle Road. Additional evidence of Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus (EEE) was found in four mosquito pools collected in the Town of Cicero, all of which have previously tested positive for EEE: two at the Taft Road site; one at the Rt. 298 site; and one at the Island Road site. The Onondaga County Health Department is not planning on conducting aerial or ground spraying at this time. Mosquito surveillance consisting of collecting and testing mosquitoes and applying larvicides to control mosquitoes prior to them becoming adults will continue. Ms. Mignano reminds residents, “Although mosquito counts continue to be relatively low, it is important that the public continue to practice personal protection measures to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes and to keep your yard free from standing water to reduce the mosquito population near your home until we have a hard frost.”
The Health Department would like to remind the public that mosquitoes are most active between dusk and dawn. Personal protection is advised during outdoor activities. Personal protection measures include wearing shoes, socks, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt when outside for a long period of time. Applying a mosquito repellent containing DEET, Picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, or IR3535 is also recommended to prevent mosquito bites. Repellents containing DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products provide longer-lasting protection. Do not put the repellent directly onto children. Put it on your hands and apply it to your child. Do not put insect repellent on your face. Wash skin and clothing after returning indoors. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for application.
The following are ways of helping to reduce mosquito breeding grounds:
- Throw away outdoor containers, ceramic pots or containers that hold water.
- Remove all tires from your property.
- Drill holes in the bottoms of recycling containers that are kept outdoors.
- Clean clogged rain gutters and make sure they continue to work properly.
- Turn over wheelbarrows and wading pools when not in use.
- Change water in bird baths at least every four days.
- Clear vegetation and debris from the edges of ponds.
- Clean chlorinated swimming pools, outdoor saunas, and hot tubs.
- Drain water from pool covers.
- Use landscaping to eliminate low spots where standing water accumulates.
For more information about personal protection measures contact the Onondaga County Health Department, Division of Environmental Health at 435-1649 or visit http://www.ongov.net/health/mosquitoborne.html.