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      Central New York working to squash Mosquito borne illnesses

      Mosquitos like standing water. Five Central New York counties are offering a new tool to help fight the spread of one mosquito borne illness, EEE virus.

      A new tool is available for homeowners to fight against mosquito borne illness in Oswego, Onondaga, Madison, Oneida, St. Lawrence, and Jefferson counties.

      State Senator Patty Ritchie announced the availability of larvicide pellets. The pellets are free, and are available at each county's soil and water office.

      The pellets, which are to be placed in water where mosquitoes breed, should be effective for the rest of the summer.

      Senator Ritchie says the state has committed to funding larvicide packets for more than 2,700 homeowners in the region.

      The announcement of the pellet distribution comes a year after four year old Maggie Sue Wilcox of New Haven was killed by the mosquito-borne EEE virus.

      In addition to the larvicide pellets, the Oswego County Health Department also recommends people take steps to protect themselves from mosquito bites by using insect repellents and limiting outdoor activities in areas where mosquitoes are most active. Mosquitoes prefer standing water, and are most active around dusk and dawn.

      Meanwhile, two cases of West Nile Virus are confirmed in Oswego County.

      Acting Public Health Director, Inga Back, says two pools collected on July 2, and July 4, near the Village of Central Square, tested positive for the virus. There are no known human cases of the virus in the county at this time.

      Black says the West Nile Virus has already been found in Onondaga County. The virus is now present in five New York Counties.