Central Square (WSYR-TV) -- Oswego County announced Wednesday that it will spray for mosquitoes after a mosquito pool collected in the village of Central Square last week tested positive for the Eastern equine encephalitis, or EEE virus.
Oswego County public health director Jiancheng Huang has requested the NY State Department of Health issue a declaration of imminent public threat.
Oswego County intends to spray the Big Bay and Toad Harbor Swamp area as soon as possible. Spraying will not take place over the waters of Oneida Lake.
Huang says that virus activity in recent weeks and the weather forecast are reason enough to spray to prevent the spread of EEE and other mosquito-borne illnesses.
He said in a written release, “As a precautionary measure against a repeat of last year’s unusually rapid emergence of EEE, we need to conduct aerial spraying to control mosquitoes."
The Oswego County Health Department will announce the schedule as soon as it’s developed, Huang continued. That decision will be based on data collected from various mosquito pools around the area.
The risk of contracting either EEE, or West Nile virus, peaks from late July to mid-August.
Children under age 15 and adults over age 50 are at greatest risk of contracting EEE.
EEE claimed the life of an Oswego County girl last summer and is rarer and more often fatal, according to the Health Department.
EEE can affect humans, birds, horses and other mammals. Most people bitten by an infected mosquito will not develop any signs; however, of those who do, symptoms usually appear four to ten days later.
Symptoms of EEE may include headache, fever, chills and vomiting. As the disease progresses an individual may become disoriented, have seizures, coma or inflammation of the brain.
The county plans to hire a contractor to spray 10,000 acres in the Toad Harbor and Big Bay swamps north of Oneida Lake. Spraying will not take place over the waters of Oneida Lake.
For more information visit the New York State Department of Health Website--EEE Fact SheetWest Nile Virus Fact Sheet