SULLIVAN, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The Madison County Health Department has found Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus, or EEE, in a bird-biting mosquito pool collected from Smith Ridge Road in the Town of Sullivan. This is the second EEE positive mosquito pool this season.
The first EEE-positive pool was found on Moore Road on July 27. Since then the Madison County Health Department has enhanced its surveillance of EEE.
“The EEE virus is in the natural environment in which we live. No actions can eliminate the mosquitoes carrying the EEE virus. We encourage residents to take steps to prevent mosquito bites when enjoying time outdoors,” said Aaron Lazzara, Madison County Health Department’s Director of Environmental Health. “Wearing insect repellant and wearing long-sleeved shirt and pants when outside are essential steps everyone can and should take.”
Wearing repellent containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535 will help to prevent mosquito bites. For children, parents should apply the repellent on their hands first, and then apply it to their child. Repellent shouldn’t be applied to the face and be used according to label instructions. Be sure to wash off repellents from skin and clothing. Visit the EPA’s website to view a list of registered repellents and their effectiveness.
Long pants, long-sleeved shirts, shoes, and socks should be worn to prevent the bite if you are going to be outdoors for a long period of time. Limiting activity outdoor between dusk and dawn will also reduce risk of being bitten.
You can mosquito proof your home by removing or draining any standing water around your house and eliminating conditions that allow mosquitos to breed. The Madison County Health Department recommends taking the following steps to reduce mosquito breeding in your yard:
- Throw away or turn over outdoor containers, pots, wheelbarrows or other items that hold water
- Place watertight lids on refuse containers, and drill drain holes in recycling containers kept outdoors
- Remove all tires from property
- Change water in birdbaths frequently, recirculate water in small ponds and ornamental features or apply a mosquito larvacide product appropriate for such use
- Clean and maintain rain gutters
- Drain wading pools when not in use and water from pool covers, maintain and keep clean chlorinated swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs.
- Use landscaping to eliminate low areas where standing water accumulates, keep lawns mowed, and clear vegetation from edges of ponds.
For more information about EEE and protection measures, you can take at home, call the Madison County Health Department at 366-2361 or visit the Department’s website at HealthyMadisonCounty.org.
Right now, the Madison County Health Department does not plan on spraying but will do so if it is deemed necessary to control the EEE virus.