UPDATE: EEE virus kills two horses in the Town of Palermo, health dept. says

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***UPDATE – 3:28 P.M.*** The Oswego County Health Department reports that two horses in the town of Palermo died earlier this week of Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE). The diagnosis was confirmed in test results released today by the state Department of Health. The horses lived on the same farm and had not been vaccinated for EEE.

Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang reminds residents that the EEE virus (EEEV) will remain active in the environment until the first heavy frost occurs.

“Until we have a killing frost, people in all areas of Oswego County need to fully protect themselves from mosquito bites when they participate in outdoor activities,” he said. “Please avoid being outdoors during the periods when mosquitoes are most active, primarily around dusk and dawn. If you are outdoors, you should be wearing long pants and long sleeves, and using insect repellents.”

TOWN OF PALERMO, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus (EEE) has been found in the Town of Palermo, according to the Oswego County Health Department. 

It’s the first time EEE has been found at the Palermo sampling site. 

“EEE is endemic to our area,” said Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang. “While most of these recent samples were collected prior to the Aug. 24 aerial spraying, our surveillance shows that the virus is still active and in areas beyond our spray boundaries. We are watching these areas very closely.” 

Another seven samples of mosquitoes recently collected from areas of the county where EEE was confirmed earlier this summer, show the virus is still active.  

Huang also went on to say, “It is imperative that people throughout Oswego County protect themselves from mosquitoes. If you can do so, avoid being outdoors during the periods when the mosquitoes are most active, primarily around dusk and dawn. If you are outdoors, you should be using insect repellents.” 

EEE has also been previously found at sample sites in Albion, Central Square, Constantia, Hastings, and West Monroe.  

Insect repellents that contain DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus are effective. 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. 

People should also limit outdoor activities between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active, and wear protective clothing such as long sleeves, pants, socks, and shoes when weather permits. 

Residents can take these steps to reduce mosquito habitat around the home: 

  • Repair or replace window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside. 
  • Mosquito larvicide “dunk” packs, suitable for treating large containers of water, are available from the Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District. The treatments must be used according to the label’s instructions. For information call 315-592-9663. 
  • Dispose of old tires. Used tires are a significant mosquito breeding site and are accepted at Oswego County transfer stations. Visit https://www.oswegocounty.com/departments/infrastructure_facilities_and_technology/solid_waste/faq.php or 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. 
  • 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. 

For more information about protecting your family against mosquitoes, call the Oswego County Health Department at 315-349-3547 or visit https://health.oswegocounty.com/

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