Health organizations want Central New York to Fight the Bite

Fight the Bite campaign

The New York State Health Department is joining Central New York health agencies to help fight against a deadly disease.

The group launched the " Fight the Bite" campaign on Wednesday. A special event was held at the New York State Fairgrounds. The program's goal is to remind people, how to take the initiative against mosquitoes to prevent the illnesses they carry. The campaign comes after several deaths from Eastern Equine Encephalitis, known as EEE, in recent years. One of those was the death of 4-year-old Maggie Wilcox in Oswego County last summer.

Aerial spraying is often used to help keep the mosquito count down, but experts say, it is really only one part of the answer. "People still have to do things to help themselves," say Byron Backenson of the NYS Health Department, "spraying for mosquitoes is not going to happen all the time and its not the silver bullet. People have to start thinking about personal protection for mosquitoes the same way they think about applying sunscreen, or the same way they think about putting on a seat belt."

Bug spray is the best way to protect your body from mosquitoes. The chemical DEET can stop bugs from biting people.

Oswego County is also enacting a "mark, release, recapture" program to help study mosquitoes. It is intended to locate "ground zero," where the virus may originate in Oswego County.