Onondaga County Health Commissioner, Indu Gupta MD, MPH, has been notified that a mosquito pool from a trap located at Island Road in the town of Cicero has tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus (EEEV). Dr. Gupta explained, “EEE is a rare disease that is caused by a virus spread by the bite of an infected mosquito, therefore it is extremely important that people use personal protection measures to help reduce their risk of being bitten by a mosquito.” Gupta also explained that although mosquito counts are low so far this season, it is still important to protect yourself from mosquito bites, especially if you live in or visit woodland areas, work outside, or are involved in outdoor activities.
Reducing exposure to mosquitoes is the best way to protect yourself from EEEV and other mosquito-borne viruses. Personal protection is recommended during outdoor activities by 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. 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.
It is also important to reduce mosquito breeding grounds, thereby reducing the mosquito population:
- 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.