The family of Maggie Wilcox, the four year old girl who died from Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in August, is speaking out following a State Senate report.The report from the New York State Senate Committee on Agriculture contains 13 recommendations on how the state can better combat outbreaks of the deadly EEE virus which is borne by mosquitoes.
Maggie Wilcox??s aunt, Donna Wilcox, told CNY Central's Jim Kenyon that the report serves as a tribute to her daughter.
The Wilcox family feels that had some of the recommendations been in place last year, Oswego County may have responded differently. Immediately after the death of Maggie Wilcox, on August 14th, the Oswego County Health Department decided not to conduct aerial spraying to kill off the mosquitoes around her home in New Haven.
A week later, the Oswego County Health Department reversed its decision but denied it was a result of public outrage.
The report calls on the state health department to develop a human vaccine and requests that the State pick up more of the costs of aerial pesticide spraying.
Donna Wilcox says one of the recommendation she supports the most, is the one that allows for individual home owners to apply larvicide to standing pools for water on their properties. She says New Haven in Oswego County has one of the highest proportions of wetlands in the state.
She also endorses the call for the development of a human vaccine to combat EEE in humans. A vaccine already exists for horses.