Oswego (WSYR-TV) – An elderly resident in Oswego County is recovering after becoming infected with the West Nile virus in September.
The virus has been found in mosquito pools in multiple locations in Oswego and Onondaga counties throughout the summer and early fall.
The virus doesn’t generate symptoms in most people who contract it, but it can cause serious health problems and, in rare cases, death.
People who are 50 years old or older are the most at-risk group.
Symptoms include fever, headache, body aches, and, occasionally, skin rash and swollen lymph glands.
Anyone who experiences these symptoms should seek medical attention.
Health officials are advising people to:
- Use insect repellent properly. Those that contain DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus are most effective but should be used with care. Read the product label and use according to package instructions.
- Limit outdoor activities in areas where mosquitoes are most active and between dusk and dawn, which is the peak mosquito biting time.
- If you have to be outside, wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, shoes and socks as weather permits.
In addition, residents can take these protective measures to minimize mosquito populations in and around their homes and properties:
- Repair or replace all window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
- Reduce or eliminate all standing water.
- Empty or dispose of pails, cans, flower pots, or similar water-holding containers.
- Clear roof gutters, remove leaf debris from yards and gardens, and clean vegetation and debris from the edge of ponds.
- Turn over wheelbarrows and wading pools when not in use.
- Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas, hot tubs and drain pool covers.
- Change the water in birdbaths and horse troughs twice a week.
- Dispose of old tires at an Oswego County transfer station. There is a minimum $10 disposal fee. Contact the Oswego County Solid Waste Department at 591-9200 for details.
For more information about EEE, West Nile and other viruses transmitted by mosquitoes, call the Oswego County Health Department at (315) 349-3564 or 1-800-596-3200, ext.3564 between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. or visit the New York State Department of Health Web site