Oswego County postpones EEE virus spray, expands spray area

Aerial spraying for mosquitoes carrying EEE has been postponed Wednesday night in Oswego County.

The county health department released a statement just before 3:30 p.m. Wednesday saying that spraying will not take place due to a forecast of high winds. The health department says wind speed is a factor in determining whether conditions are viable to spray.

The department says, weather permitting, it will resume aerial spraying Thursday evening. In order for spraying to be effective, foliage needs to be relatively dry, winds must be under 10 miles per hour, and the weather should be rain free for at least 30 minutes after the pesticide is applied.

The county also reported late Wednesday afternoon that EEE has been found in five more mosquito samples collected in West Monroe TMs Toad Harbor Big Bay Swamp area last week, and in the towns of Hastings and Albion. Testing also confirmed that a horse in the town of Amboy died as a result of contracting the EEE virus.

The health department has decided to expand its targeted aerial spray area based on the new data. The spray will cover all or parts of Albion, Parish, New Haven, Volney, Hastings, Palermo and Mexico. Spraying began in parts of those areas Tuesday night. The health department says because of the large coverage area, the spray could not be completed in one night.

Specifically, the spray area is approximately bordered on the west by Interstate 81, to the south by Kipp Road to the intersection of Searles Road; Searles Road north to Canfield Road; and Canfield Road east to county Route 22. From this intersection, east to the intersection of White Hill Road and Churchill Road; Churchill Road north to New York State Route 104; New York State Route 104 west to Albion Cross Road; north on Albion Cross Road to Bull Run Road; then a line from this point to Route 81.

Click here to download a map of the spray area.

The health department has contracted with Duflo Spray-Chemical Inc. from Lowville to conduct the spraying. The product, Kontrol 30-30, which contains permethrin, will be applied in a very diluted form.

You can find a copy of the pesticide label and MSDS including all warnings, by clicking here . You can also call the Oswego County Health Department at (315) 349-3564 ext. 3564, weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. After 4 p.m., call (315) 341-0086.

Saturday night, officials conducted aerial spraying over the Toad Harbor/Big Bay Swamp area on the north shore of Oneida Lake.

About a week ago, 4-year-old Maggie Sue Wilcox died after contracting the EEE virus.

People in the affected area should stay indoors and keep windows and doors closed for one hour after the spraying.

Here are some other important tips:

- Keep pets indoors.- Close the vents on window air conditioners so that outside air doesn't enter the home for one hour.- Remove outdoor toys, outdoor furniture, and clothing from the clothesline. Items left outdoors should be washed thoroughly with soap and water before using.- If you are driving through an area while spraying takes place, close your car windows and vents.- Cover gardens, or rinse homegrown fruits and vegetables thoroughly before cooking or eating.

Oswego County Public Health Director Dr. Dennis Norfleet says people in the area should continue to limit outdoor activities around dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active, wear long pants, long sleeved shirts, shoes and socks when outdoors, and eliminate standing water around the home. You should also apply an insect repellent.

This postponement comes on the heels of Onondaga County's announcement that EEE and West Nile were found in the Cicero Swamp on August 16 . Spraying in that area will take place on Monday.

Are you concerned about EEE? What are you doing to protect yourself and your family? Are you glad the county is now spraying? Leave your thoughts below.