Additional Findings of Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus in Mosquito Pools, Spraying of Cicero Swamp Planned

Onondaga County Health Commissioner, Dr. Indu Gupta, was notified today of four additional findings of Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus (EEEV) in mosquito pools collected from a trap located on Route 298 in the Cicero Swamp area in the town of Cicero. This is the same location as the previous finding. Dr. Gupta explains that “EEE is a rare but serious disease that is caused by a virus ​transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito, therefore it is extremely important that residents use personal protection measures to reduce their risk of mosquito bites”

The Onondaga County Health Department is making plans to conduct aerial spraying of the Cicero Swamp and immediate surrounding areas pending approval from the New York State Department of Health. Gupta explains, “This proactive measure is an attempt to interrupt the mosquito ​breeding cycles. Reducing the number of mosquitoes (although it is temporary) can reduce the number of mosquitoes available to transmit the virus to humans.” The timing of the spraying will be determined by weather conditions and other factors, and the actual date will be announced to the public through local news, social media, and other communication channels. Residents in the spray areas will also be notified by phone through the 911 emergency notification system–existing landlines with active service are already registered to receive emergency notifications through the system. Cellular and some VoIP phones are not in the system database. If you would like to be contacted on your cellular or VoIP line to receive emergency notifications in your area, you must self-register on the system at

Personal Protection Measures

The presence of EEEV in our county is a reminder that no matter where you live, it is important to be consistent in protecting yourself and your family from mosquito bites. 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. The use of insect repellents containing DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and other products that have been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is also recommended. Use this EPA search tool to help you choose the repellent product that is right for you, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions on proper use for safety and effectiveness. 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
It is also important to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home by removing 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 birdbaths 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

The Onondaga County Health Department remains in close contact with the New York State Departments of Health and Environmental Conservation. For the weekly mosquito pool test results and for more information about spraying and protecting yourself from mosquitoes, visit or contact the Onondaga County Health Department’s Division of Environmental Health at 315.435.1649.