SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — If you find yourself swatting away from mosquitoes, there’s a good reason. While the numbers are going down, we’re still seeing more this time of year than the past two summers.
Both Onondaga and Oswego counties are now reporting mosquito borne viruses — West Nile and Triple E — for the first time this summer.
“We just see a lot of mosquitoes. We see a lot of rain followed by warm weather, we see increases of mosquito populations and that happens every year,” said Dr. Brian Leydet, professor of Epidemiology and Disease Ecology at SUNY ESF.
With the rainy weather we’ve seen lately across Central New York, the mosquito population is even bigger. With that comes mosquito borne viruses.
“When mosquitoes get the disease usually from birds in the case of Triple E and West Nile virus they then reinfect other birds and you see this increase in bird populations and then it will spill over or a human biting mosquito will bite a human, bite a horse,” said Dr. Leydet.
Spilling over and exposing the human population to these viruses.
The month of August is typically peak season for these pestering insects, but there are ways to protect yourself.
“Mosquitoes are active usually dusk and dawn especially some of the more veracious biters. Obviously wearing insect repellent, anything deed or procured on your skin. Wearing light colored, loose clothing,” said Dr. Leydet.
Some of these infected bugs like to feed inside of your house. So make sure your window screens are in tact.
The good news, Triple E and West Nile are rare.
“We probably see a lot more people being exposed to Triple E and West Nile virus, but they aren’t getting sick. Healthy immune systems, they are just kind of getting a more mile viral illness and not even going to the doctor,” said Dr. Leydet.
However, some people can get really sick.
If you start getting flu-like symptoms and it’s not the flu or COVID-19, head to the doctor.
“There’s some signs and symptoms they’ll look for and differentially diagnose you with a potential mosquito borne or tick borne illness or something else,” said Dr. Leydet.
As for now these mosquitoes aren’t going away. They could be here until at least the first frost.