Onondaga County Interim Health Commissioner, Michelle Mignano was notified today by the New York State Health Department laboratory of the first known human case of West Nile virus this year in Onondaga County. Ms. Mignano reports that the adult was hospitalized and is doing well and is expected to recover. Mignano reinforced, “With this first known human case of West Nile virus this year, it underscores that West Nile virus is active and residents are urged to consistently take measures to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. Even though the mosquito counts continue to be relatively low, it is important that the public continue to practice personal protection measures and keep your yard free from standing water to reduce the mosquito population until we have a hard frost.” Mignano also reassured that mosquito surveillance and the application of larvicides will continue throughout Onondaga County with heightened focus on areas with known findings of both West Nile virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis.
It is important that the public continue to take measures to minimize being bitten by mosquitoes and to keep your yard free from standing water to reduce the mosquito population near your home. Mosquitoes are most active between dusk and dawn. Personal protection is advised during outdoor activities. Personal protection measures include wearing shoes and 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. 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 West Nile virus or mosquito borne disease contact the Onondaga County Health Department, Division of Environmental Health at 435-1649 or visit http://www.ongov.net/health/mosquitoborne.html or