Protect Yourself from Mosquito Borne Diseases: West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis

The Onondaga County Health Department is encouraging all residents to use personal protection to protect from mosquito bites and the threat of mosquito borne diseases. Indu Gupta MD, MPH, Onondaga County Commissioner of Health encouraged residents “With the warm weather and the summer almost here, it is important to consistently use personal protection measures to reduce the risk of mosquito bites that may transmit West Nile virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus (EEEV).” Gupta explained that the Health Department has begun the annual mosquito surveillance and control program in late May.  This program collects and tests mosquitoes for viruses including WNV and EEEV.  The program also uses larvicides (an insecticide) to control mosquito breeding in standing bodies of water.

The Health Department reminds residents that mosquitoes are most active between dusk and dawn.

  • Personal protection measures are recommended during outdoor activities and includes:  wearing shoes and socks, long pants, long-sleeved shirt.
  • Consider using a mosquito repellent containing DEET or Picaridin. Mosquito repellents should be applied only to uncovered skin or over clothing.  Do NOT apply DEET or Picaridin directly onto children’s skin (apply to your own hands and then put it on the child). Products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus also provide protection against mosquito bites.  With any mosquito repellent, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on proper use and reapplication.
  • Reduce mosquito breeding: Replace or repair broken screens,  clean clogged rain gutters, turn over wheelbarrows and wading pools when not in use, change water in bird baths every four days, properly maintain swimming pools, outdoor saunas, and hot tubs, drain water from pool covers and use landscaping to eliminate low spots where standing water accumulatFor more information mosquito borne illness contact the Onondaga County Health Department, Division of Environmental Health at 435-1649.  For more information visit

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