(WSYR-TV) — The New York State Department of Health told the Oswego County Health Department that Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus was found in a mosquito pool taken from the town of Palermo on July 22, 2022.

“We are working closely with the State Department of Health to monitor mosquito activity around the country and will take actions as deemed appropriate based on consultations with state and regional partners,” said Oswego County Deputy Public Health Director Vera Dunsmoor.

In late spring, Oswego County began a mosquito surveillance program and it will continue into the fall.

“Mosquito samples (pools) are routinely collected from a number of sites around the county and tested at the State’s lab,” said Oswego County Associate Public Health Sanitarian Chris Williams. “This is the first pool in the county that has tested positive for EEE virus this year.”

Dunsmoor says that people in Oswego County should use bug spray when outdoors and stay away from mosquito breeding sites around the home.

“People should also limit outdoor activities between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active,” she said. “I know we don’t want to think about wearing long sleeves, pants, socks, and shoes in this oppressive weather; however, wearing protective clothing will help protect you from mosquito bites.”

Oswego County Health Department says bug sprays that have DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus all work well. Repellents that have permethrin are good for clothing and gear, but should not be applied directly to the skin.

Residents are encouraged to do the following to reduce mosquito habitat around their homes:

  • Repair or replace window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside and reduce or eliminate all standing water.
  • Dispose of old tires as they are a significant mosquito breeding site. Used tires are accepted at Oswego County transfer stations. Contact the Oswego County Solid Waste Department at 315-591-9200 for details.
  • Empty or dispose of pails, cans, flower pots, or 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, 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.

For more information about mosquito protection, call the Oswego County Health Department at 315-349-3547 or visit the New York State Department of Health website, here.