Onondaga County Health Commissioner, Indu Gupta, MD, MPH, announced today that West Nile virus (WNV) continues to be present in Onondaga County. Two mosquito pools from samples collected last week have tested positive for WNV—one from a trap located at East Taft Road in the Town of Cicero and another in the Town of Geddes. This is the first positive finding of WNV in the Town of Geddes this year.
Dr. Gupta states that, “Disease-carrying mosquitoes will continue to be a public health concern until the first hard frost”, and reminds county residents that, “It is essential that the public continue to practice personal protection measures to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes whenever outdoors. It is important not to become complacent about consistently practicing personal protection measures”.
Personal protection is recommended during outdoor activities by wearing shoes, socks, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt when outside. Applying a mosquito repellent containing DEET, Picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, or IR3535 is also recommended to prevent mosquito bites. Do not allow children to handle repellent. Put a small amount of repellent 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 and ceramic pots that hold water
- Drill holes in the bottoms of recycling containers that are kept outdoors
- Remove all tires from your property
- 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
The Health Department will continue to post mosquito pool test results every week. Please visit www.ongov.net/health/mosquitoborne.html for the most recent information. The public may also contact the Division of Environmental Health for more information at (315) 435-1649.