Oswego (WSYR-TV) -- Oswego County has gotten the go ahead from the state to spray for mosquitoes.
New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Nirav Shah issued a declaration of imminent threat to public health in Oswego County Wednesday.
The first area to be targeted will be the Toad Harbor – Central Square area. The county will also spray the Lot 10 Road area in Palermo and north into the Town of Mexico.
The county is working with the state health department and an aerial spraying contractor to finalize spraying plans, according to a release from the county health department.
Thursday, the health department learned of the death of a dog from EEE in the Town of Mexico and also received notification that a second horse has died from EEE.
Last weekend a four-year-old girl from New Haven also died from the virus.
And earlier this month another horse succumbed to the virus in the town of Scriba.
“The schedule and areas to be sprayed will be announced through the news media and on the county Web site as soon as the exact boundaries are decided upon,” according to health officials. “It will depend on weather conditions and data collected from the state and county health departments’ surveillance programs.
West Nile virus has also been detected near the village of Central Square and in the Toad Harbor/Big Bay Swamp area.
As of August 18, 16 pools of mosquitoes collected through the Oswego County Health Department’s surveillance program have tested positive for the virus.
Oswego County Public Health Director Dr. Norfleet continues to emphasize that aerial spraying is a partial and temporary measure in controlling the population of mosquitoes which could carry EEE.
"Aerial spraying will reduce the numbers of mosquitoes testing positive for EEE for about one week," he said. "Spraying will not erase the virus from the environment, and it will not eliminate the need for people to protect themselves…" Dr. Norfleet said.
The best way for people to protect themselves from EEE is to protect against mosquito bites.The Health Department recommends the taking the following precautions to protect you and your family
- Use insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus on exposed skin and clothing.
- Always follow label directions.
- Wear shoes, socks, long pants with bottoms tucked into boots or socks, and a long sleeved shirt when outdoors for long periods of time and at dawn and dusk.
- Repair or replace broken screens in doors and windows.
- Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from containers.
- Keep children’s wading pools empty and on their sides when they aren’t being used.