EEE confirmed in mosquitoes in Oswego Co.: How to stay safe

Pools of mosquitoes in Oswego County have tested positive for eastern equine encephalitis, also known as the EEE virus.

The infected mosquitoes were found in the village of Central Square and on County Route 6, south of NYS Route 3 in Volney. That's according to the Oswego County Health Department.

The virus was previously found in mosquitoes collected at Toad Harbor/Big Bay Swamp in West Monroe and in the northeastern section of the Town of Palermo.

Oswego County Health officials are now reminding people to stay away from areas where mosquitoes concentrate and limit outside activity between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.

"The virus continues to be active and has spread beyond the Oneida Lake area," said Dr. Dennis Norfleet, Oswego County Public Health Director. "Residents in the southern half of Oswego County need to be especially vigilant and take personal protective measures to reduce their chances of being exposed to EEE and other viruses, such as West Nile, that are carried by mosquitoes."

Dr. Norfleet says the dry weather we've seen this summer has kept the mosquito population at a lower than normal level. Because of that and other factors, they do not plan to spray for mosquitoes at this time.

"Our surveillance program will continue and, as data presents itself, we will continue to re-evaluate any need for mosquito control actions, including spraying," Dr. Norfleet said.

This isn't the first time we've seen EEE this year in our area. Earlier this week, health officials confirmed a horse in Oneida County was infected with the virus .

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.

Are you concerned about EEE in your area? Have you seen pools of mosquitoes that worry you? Should the county conduct more spraying? Leave your thoughts below.