Friday, 16 August 2019 12:45

Horse Dies of EEE in West Monroe

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Horse Dies of EEE in West Monroe Supplied photo

A horse in the town of West Monroe died Aug. 13 of Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus, the Oswego County Health Department reported today.

The diagnosis was confirmed in tests conducted by the state Department of Health.

The county health department plans to conduct an aerial spraying of the Toad Harbor Swamp area this evening, Friday, Aug. 16. The schedule will depend on the weather.

Aerial spraying is a temporary control measure to reduce the population of mosquitoes that carry the Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus, a rare but serious disease that is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. A horse cannot transmit EEE to a person, but infected mosquitoes pose a risk to both humans and horses. EEE vaccine is available for horses. The health department recommends that horse owners talk to their veterinarian for advice on having their horses vaccinated.

So far this summer 15 samples of mosquitoes collected from the towns of West Monroe, Hastings and Constantia have tested positive for EEE.

The area to be sprayed is within these boundaries: U.S. Route 11 in Central Square to the west; NYS Route 49 to the north, up to but not including the village of Constantia to the east; and the shoreline of Oneida Lake to the south. Pesticide will not be applied over the open waters of Oneida Lake.

Aerial spraying is dependent on weather conditions. Residents within the spray area will be notified of the spraying by the Hyper-Reach Broadcast Notification Service through Oswego County’s E-9-1-1 Emergency Communications Department. If spraying is postponed due to weather conditions, residents will be notified through the news media and information will be posted on the Oswego County Web site at www.oswegocounty.com.

The health department received permission and permits required to conduct aerial spraying from the state departments of Health and Environmental Conservation. The product Kontrol 30-30, which contains permethrin, will be applied in a diluted form. The county has contracted with Duflo Spray-Chemical from Lowville to conduct the aerial spraying.

A copy of the pesticide label and safety data sheet (SDS) including warnings and fact sheets about permethrin aerial spraying can be found on the Oswego County Web site at www.oswegocounty.com/health/index.html, or obtained by calling the Oswego County Health Department at 315-349-3564 weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.  On weekends and evenings, call 315-341-0086.

People in the spray area should stay indoors and keep windows and doors closed between 6 and 10 p.m. People are also advised to:

  • Keep pets indoors.
  • Close the vents on window air conditioners so that outside air doesn’t enter the home for one hour.
  • Remove outdoor toys, outdoor furniture, and clothing from the clothesline. Items left outdoors should be washed thoroughly with soap and water before using.
  • If you are driving through an area while spraying takes place, close your car windows and vents.
  • Cover gardens, and rinse homegrown fruits and vegetables thoroughly before cooking or eating.
  • cooking or eating.

Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang said it is imperative that people take steps to protect themselves against mosquitoes in areas across Oswego County. Aerial spraying can be effective in reducing mosquito populations, but it does not eliminate all mosquitoes.

“Aerial spraying is a temporary control measure,” said Huang. “It is still very important for people throughout Oswego County to continue their efforts to prevent exposure to mosquitoes.”

People should limit their outdoor activities around dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active; use insect repellents and wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, shoes and socks when outdoors; and eliminate standing water around the home.

Repellents containing DEET are the most effective but should be used with caution and according to label instructions. Products containing picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus are also effective.

Oswego County residents who would like to receive community alerts by wireless phones, text messages and TTY may register for the Hyper-Reach Broadcast Notification Service through Oswego County’s E-9-1-1 Emergency Communications Department at https://secure.hyper-reach.com/comsignup.jsp?id=12481, or they may contact the E-9-1-1 administrative office at 315-349-8215 or 1-800-679-3911 and request a registration form. Landline phone customers don’t need to register because their numbers are provided to the E-9-1-1 department by the telephone companies that serve Oswego County.

To reduce mosquito habitat around the home, residents are reminded to:

  • Repair or replace window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside and reduce or eliminate all standing water.
  • Dispose of old tires. Used tires are a significant mosquito breeding site and are accepted at Oswego County transfer stations. Call the Oswego County Solid Waste Department at 315-591-9200 for details.
  • Empty or dispose of pails, cans, flowerpots, and similar water-holding containers.
  • Drill holes in the bottoms of recycling containers that are kept outdoors.
  • Clear roof gutters and be sure they drain properly.
  • Turn over wheelbarrows and wading pools when not in use.
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs, and drain pool covers.
  • Change the water in birdbaths and horse troughs twice a week.
  • Remove leaf debris from yards and gardens and clean vegetation and debris from the edge of ponds.
  • Use landscaping to eliminate standing water that collects on your property.

For more information about protecting your family against mosquitoes, call the Oswego County Health Department at 315-349-3547 or visit https://www.cdc.gov/easternequineencephalitis/index.html

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