First Report of West Nile Virus in Onondaga County and Corrected Update: No Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus

Onondaga County Health Commissioner, Indu Gupta MD, MPH, was notified by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) that two mosquito pools from a trap located in the Town of Salina have tested positive for West Nile Virus.

NYSDOH also notified Onondaga County Health Department (OCHD) of an update in their report to OCHD earlier this week. It was incorrectly reported that EEE was found in a pool of mosquitoes in Onondaga County, however, NYSDOH issued an update today that additional testing has confirmed the Island Road trap in the town of Cicero is negative for EEEV. With this update, Onondaga County has no evidence of EEEV positive mosquito pools to date.

Dr. 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 and your family from WNV 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 information about personal protection measures against mosquitoes, visit our website at or contact the Division of Environmental Health at (315) 435-1649.