Human case of EEE reported in Oswego County

A child is Oswego County has contracted eastern equine encephalitis, or EEE, according to the county health department.

Officials are not saying how old the child is, or where the child got it from. People who come down with the virus typically experience headaches, a fever and confusion. EEE can be deadly, especially in children and the elderly.

It comes as another pool of mosquitoes tested positive for eastern equine encephalitis in Oswego County.

The virus was found in a mosquito pool collected from the Town of Albion during the week of August 1.

Mosquito pools in West Monroe's Toad Harbor Big Bay Swamp tested positive for EEE last month. Also, the townships of Palermo, Volney, and Hastings, and the village of Central Square have tested positive for the EEE virus recently.

Friday night, people in Central Square were taking precautions to protect themselves. "After hearing what's been going on, I think people should pay more attention and we're definitely going to wear bug spray from here on out," said Matt Sassone.

"That concerns me because I have kids. They are out all the time," said Steven Gleason.

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 in a press release. "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. Health officials confirmed a horse in Oneida County was infected with the virus recently.

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?