Onondaga County Health Commissioner, Dr. Cynthia B. Morrow was notified late yesterday by the New York State Health Department laboratory of the first known human case of West Nile virus this year in Onondaga County. Morrow reports that the adult was briefly hospitalized and is doing well and expects to have a full recovery. Morrow reinforced, “This first known human case of West Nile virus underscores that West Nile virus is widespread and residents are urged to consistently take measures to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes”.
Furthermore, the New York State Health Department also reported finding evidence of West Nile virus in two locations in Onondaga County. These findings were in mosquito pools collected in the town of Lysander on East Mud Lake Road on July 31 and also in the city of Syracuse on Midler Avenue on August 1, 2012.
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:
• Put away outdoor containers, ceramic pots or other 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. For more information about mosquito- borne disease visit www.ongov.net/health; this website is updated weekly.