First evidence of West Nile virus in Onondaga County this year found in Manlius

The first evidence of West Nile virus in Onondaga County this year has been found in a mosquito pool in Manlius.

According to Onondaga County Health Commissioner, Cynthia B. Morrow, the virus was located in a mosquito pool collected at the Minoa Sewage Treatment Plant on Kalin Drive in the Town of Manlius on June 28.

Morrow says there have been no human cases of West Nile virus reported in Onondaga County this year.

The county began its mosquito surveillance program in May.

â??This is a reminder that it is essential that the public take measures to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes by consistently using personal protection measures,â?? said Morrow. â??Also, keep your yard free from standing water because this is a breeding ground for mosquitoes to multiply.â??

The following are personal protection measures you can take to reduce the risk of illness from mosquitoes:

-- Wear shoes and socks, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt when outside for a long period of time (Mosquitoes are most active between dusk and dawn)

-- Applying a mosquito repellent containing DEET, Picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, or IR3535 is also recommended to prevent mosquito bites. Do not put the repellent directly onto children. Put it on your hands and apply it to your child. Do not put insect repellent on your face. Wash skin and clothing after returning indoors.

The following are ways of helping to reduce mosquito breeding grounds:

-- Throw away outdoor plastic containers, ceramic pots, or containers that hold water

-- Remove all tires from your property

-- Drill holes in the bottoms of recycling containers that are kept outdoors

-- Clean clogged rain gutters and make sure they continue to work properly

-- Turn over wheelbarrows and wading pools when not in use

-- Change water in bird baths at least every four days

-- Clear vegetation and debris from the edges of ponds

-- Clean chlorinated swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs

-- Drain water from pool covers

-- Use landscaping to eliminate low spots where standing water accumulates

You can contact the Onondaga County Health Department, Division of Environmental Health for more information about personal protection measures and ways to reduce mosquito breeding at 315-435-1649 or on the Departmentâ??s website.