Child dies of EEE virus

Maggie Sue Glenister Wilcox / photo: Nelson Funeral Home

A four-year-old girl from New Haven who contracted Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) has died. Health officials in Oswego County have confirmed the death to CNY Central.

The website for the Nelson Funeral Home in Oswego has confirmed that the girl's name is Maggie Sue Glenister Wilcox. She passed away Sunday morning at Golisano Children's Hospital in Syracuse.

Calling hours are scheduled for Wednesday from 3:00 - 7:00 p.m. at Nelson Funeral Home on West Albany Street in Oswego. A funeral will be held on Thursday at 11:00 a.m. at the First Congregational Church on Route 104 in New Haven.

A benefit to help the family will be held on Saturday from 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. at the New Haven Fire Department on State Route 104. A raffle will be held, and financial donations will be accepted. For more information, email

People in New Haven and local businesses are already making donations to help out.

Leon's Farm Market and Ashley Lynn Winery donated two cases of wine for the event.

"This is a small community, and everybody knows everybody in this community," says Ronald Nagy, who works at the winery. "Everybody tries to help. It's a pretty close knit community."

According to the funeral home, Maggie Sue's birthday would have been Tuesday. She would have turned five years old.

On Friday, Oswego County Health officials initially reported a person had contracted EEE . The news came as another pool of mosquitoes tested positive for the virus in Oswego County. It turned up in a mosquito pool in the Town of Albion the first week of August.

On Monday, the Oswego County Health Department said aerial spraying would not eliminate EEE in the county. The county will continue to collect data, monitor conditions and evaluate all factors to formulate future decisions.

Last month, mosquito pools in West Monroe's Toad Harbor Big Bay Swamp also tested positive for EEE .

EEE is has also been reported in Palermo, Volney, Hastings and Central Square .

Oswego County Health officials have asked people to stay away places where mosquitoes concentrate and limit outdoor activity between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.

Here are some important reminders from health officials:

- Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors for long periods of time and at dawn and dusk.- Use mosquito repellent. Repellents containing DEET are the most effective, but should be used with caution and according to label instructions.- Repair or replace broken screens in doors and windows.- Empty pails, swimming pool covers, flower pots and other containers of standing water around the home and yard to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds.

For more information about EEE and other viruses transmitted by mosquitoes, call the Oswego County Health Department at (315) 349-3564 or (800) 596-3200, ext.3564 between 8:30a.m. and 4 p.m. or click here .

Already, some people are taking to CNY Central's website, questioning whether the health department should be doing more to protect the public.

David C writes, "They should have started spraying at the first sign of EEE. Especially after that horse contracted the disease and had to be put down. There was no need for this little girl to die. Now the county will have to face a possible lawsuit."

Heather said, "Yes .let's ivestigate the real story ...Why have they waited so long? ...what are the enviromental impacts of spraying? Do the negatives outweigh the positives..? A little girl has died? Is it still to risky to spray ....We need answers Not an article to ignite a fire ..We are already angry they have not sprayed..I can't enjoy any time outside ..have to hurry my dogs in because I don't want them to get EEE....Let's get some answers please.."

Maggie Sue's family is asking that their "tremendous loss of Maggie Moo bring about awareness of the significant and imminent danger regarding the EEE (Eastern Equine Encephalitis) virus and that actions be taken to prevent this tragedy from happening again." Are you concerned about EEE in your area? Should the county conduct more spraying?

While those questions linger, the Oswego County community continues to mourn the loss of a little girl who's life ended much too soon.

smee79 writes, "My Familys thoughts and prayers are with the girls family , May you now rest in peace little one."

roseb1017 said, "My dear sweet child, you will be missed.."

You may leave your condolences to the family below.