Oswego County mosquitoes test positive for West Nile Virus, health department says

WEST MONROE, N.Y. — The Oswego County Health Department announced today that the West Nile Virus was detected in a sample of bird-biting mosquitoes collected last week from the Toad Harbor Swamp in the town of West Monroe.

The health department says it is working closely with the state Department of Health and will continue to monitor mosquito activity.

County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang said people in Oswego County should continue to use insect repellents when participating in outdoor activities and take measures to reduce mosquito breeding sites around the home.

Insect repellents that contain DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus are effective, the county said..Repellents that contain permethrin are meant for clothing and gear and should not be applied directly to the skin. Read the product label for repellents and follow package instructions.

The health department also suggests that people should limit outdoor activities between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.

To reduce mosquito habitat around the home, residents are advised 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, flower pots, 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.
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For more information, call the health department at (315) 349-3547 or visit the state Health Department’s website.

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