Additional Evidence of Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus Found in Onondaga County

Onondaga County Interim Health Commissioner, Michelle Mignano, announced today that the New York State Department of Health’s laboratory has reported finding additional evidence of Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus (EEE) in three mosquito pools.  Two of the mosquito pools were collected in the Town of Cicero, one at the Rt. 298 site and one at the Taft Road site. The third was collected in the Town of Salina at the Ley Creek trap.   Ms. Mignano explained, “The Onondaga County Health Department conducts an extensive larviciding program, throughout the County, that is regularly evaluated based on positive virus findings.    In response to the finding of EEE in the Ley Creek trap, the larviciding efforts in the surrounding area will be intensified”.  The larvicide used contains bacteria that target and kill larvae in their breeding habitat before they can mature into adults.

The Health Department reminds residents that personal protection measures are important in preventing mosquito borne illness.  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 /health/mosquitoborne.html