Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang said horses are very susceptible to mosquito-borne diseases if they are not vaccinated. He added, “Despite low mosquito counts, the EEE and West Nile (WNV) viruses are still active in southern and central Oswego County. People need to continue to limit their exposure to mosquitoes until there is a killing frost.”
Health officials believe the source of the virus contracted by the horse is likely the same area that was previously treated by aerial spraying. County and state health departments continue to monitor the situation.
Huang said, “The purpose of aerial spraying is to control mosquito populations; however, it does not eliminate all mosquitoes.”
Test results reported last week indicated the presence of the EEE and WNV in mosquito pools located in the towns of Hastings, Palermo and West Monroe. The report listed two pools as positive for EEE and four pools as positive for WNV for the week of September 18; and two pools as positive for EEE and two pools as positive for WNV for the week of September 25.
“Preventing mosquito bites is the best way to protect ourselves from mosquito-borne diseases,” said Huang. “People need to take precautions when they are hunting, fishing, and enjoying any outdoor activities. It is very important for everyone to continue to follow their personal protection practices.”
The Oswego County Health Department advises people to:
• Use a mosquito repellent according to label directions.
• Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt if you are outdoors for long periods of time, and when mosquitoes are most active, between dusk and dawn.
• Drain or remove standing water around the home and yard, and replace or repair broken screens, as usual.
For more information about protecting your family against mosquitoes, call the Oswego County Health Department at 315-349-3564 or visit the New York State Department of Health’s Web site at https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/west_nile_virus/.