Oswego County , N.Y. - A horse in the town of West Monroe died Aug. 9 of Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus, that according to the Oswego County Health Department. The diagnosis was confirmed today.
The Oswego County Health Department is working with the state Department of Health to complete requirements to conduct an aerial spraying of the Toad Harbor Swamp area as soon as they are able.
Four samples of mosquitoes taken in the Toad Harbor Swamp in West Monroe tested positive for EEE earlier this week, and two samples tested positive last week.
“We are working closely with state health officials to prepare for aerial spraying to reduce the population of mosquitoes,” said Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang. “We continue to collect samples of mosquitoes to monitor virus activity in the area.”
The health department emphasizes that a horse cannot transmit EEE to a person, but that infected mosquitoes pose a risk to both humans and horses. EEE vaccine is available for horses and the health department recommends that horse owners have their horses vaccinated.
Health officials also remind people to limit outdoor activities between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active, use insect repellents when outside, and to take measures to reduce mosquito breeding sites around the home.
The following list offers advice on reducing your chances of having a mosquito problem.
- Repair or replace window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside and reduce or eliminate all standing water.
- Dispose of old tires. Used tires are a significant mosquito breeding site and are accepted at Oswego County transfer stations. Call the Oswego County Solid Waste Department at 315-591-9200 for details.
- Empty or dispose of pails, cans, flower pots, and similar water-holding containers.
- Drill holes in the bottoms of recycling containers that are kept outdoors.
- Clear roof gutters and be sure they drain properly.
- Turn over wheelbarrows and wading pools when not in use.
- Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs, and drain pool covers.
- Change the water in birdbaths and horse troughs twice a week.
- Remove leaf debris from yards and gardens and clean vegetation and debris from the edge of ponds.
- Use landscaping to eliminate standing water that collects on your property.
For more information about protecting your family against mosquitoes, call the Oswego County Health Department at 315-349-3547 or visit the New York State Department of Health website at www.health.ny.gov