Health Dept. won't spray after West Nile found - should they?

T he Onondaga County Health Department is advising people to take precautions after the discovery of West Nile Virus in a mosquito pool in the Eastwood section of Syracuse.

Onondaga County Director of Environmental Health Lisa Letteney tells CNY Central the mosquitoes tested positive at the New York State Health Department Laboratory. It came from a pool that was collected on July 20th.

Letteney says it is the first finding of West Nile Virus this year and there have been no human cases yet detected. Letteney says the health department will not spray to kill off mosquitoes because "West Nile is here to stay."

Do you think the county should spray anyway? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

Letteney advises residents to take precautions against the mosquitoes by wearing socks, pants, long sleeve shirts, and using repellents using DEET.

She points out there was a similar finding last year in a pool in Onondaga Lake Park. Since the county began testing for West Nile Virus in 2002, there have been only six reported cases of human infections. Those cases were in 2002 and 2003, and none were fatal.

Letteney says many people will contract West Nile and not even know it. It produces flu like symptoms, including headache, nausea, and body aches. In rare cases, it can also affect the central nervous system and cause meningitis among the elderly, very young, and people with compromised health conditions.

Are you concerned about West Nile Virus in your area? Click here for more information on mosquito-borne illnesses from the county health department.