August Testing Reveals Five More EEE Mosquito Pools
Picente: “Finding Warrants Precautionary Spraying to Protect Public Health”
Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente, Jr. has authorized aerial spraying over an approximate 30-thousand acres in the area where five more mosquito pools collected in August have tested positive for the Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus as a precautionary measure to protect public health.
“Health Department officials confirm that the species of mosquito found to be infected with EEE generally feeds on birds, but prudence dictates we take every precaution to protect the public’s health and safety when dealing with the potentially serious threat this disease poses to livestock and humans,” Picente said. He added, “After consulting with Dr. Gayle Jones, Director of Health, the decision has been made to effectively reduce the number of adult mosquitoes that are potential carriers of the virus.”
The product will be applied at a very low concentration and is not expected to cause any adverse health effects. However, residents living in the spray area are advised to avoid any unnecessary exposure to the pesticide.
The Oneida County Health Department recommends the following precautions for those living in the spray area:
- Stay indoors and keep doors and windows closed during spraying. Windows can be opened one hour after spraying is completed.
- Keep pets indoors during spraying, if possible.
- Close vents on air conditioners so that outside air does not enter the home for one hour.
- If driving through the spray area during application, close vehicle windows and vents.
- Remove outdoor toys, outdoor furniture and clothing from the clothesline. Items left outdoors should be washed thoroughly before using.
- Cover gardens or rinse homegrown fruits and vegetables before cooking or eating.
Eastern Equine Encephalitis is considered among the most serious mosquito-borne viruses. Horses are susceptible to the illness which almost always proves fatal to the animal. If contracted by humans, EEE can produce symptoms ranging from a mild flu-like illness to inflammation of the brain, coma and even death in about one third of those affected.
The health department had previously reported one mosquito pool which tested positive for EEE during the second week of July. The August findings bring to six the total number of mosquito pools that tested positive for EEE in Oneida County. Neighboring Oswego County has had a number of positive findings this season and has previously conducted aerial spraying.