Mosquitoes test positive for EEE in Oswego County village

No instances of mosquitoes infected with West Nile virus or Eastern Equine Encephalitis have been found in Oneida County so far this year, reports the Health Department.

The news is not as good from Oswego County, where the County Health Department announced Tuesday that the state Department of Health found evidence of West Nile virus in two collections of mosquitoes in the village of Central Square.

There are no known human cases of West Nile virus in Oswego County, according to Inga Back, acting public health director.

Back said the Health Department was notified Monday of the presence of West Nile in mosquitoes collected July 2 and July 4 in Central Square.

Mosquito samples are collected weekly in Oneida and Oswego counties, and others, and then tested for mosquito-borne illnesses. Other counties where West Nile has been found in mosquitoes this year include Onondaga.

"This is a little earlier than what we’ve typically seen with West Nile virus in previous years," said Back. "However, the virus has already appeared in Onondaga County and is now present in five counties in New York state."

The Health Department advises residents to take precautions To reduce the risk of being bitten: avoid outdoor activity when mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk; wear protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts, long pants, shoes and socks when outside; use insect repellent with active ingredients such as DEET; drain standing water; change the water in birdbaths and horse troughs twice a week; and repair screens.