State grants Oswego County permission to spray for mosquitoes

      The New York State Health Department has granted permission for Oswego County to conduct aerial spraying to kill disease carrying mosquitoes.

      We TMve obtained a copy of a letter in which State Health Commissioner Nirav Shah declared an imminent threat to public health for Eastern Equine Encephalitis based on current activity exists in Oswego County. On Tuesday, Oswego County Director of Public Health Dr. Dennis Norfleet announced that he requested the declaration after the discovery of new pools of infected mosquitoes in Palermo and the Toad Harbor area of Oneida Lake.

      The letter also says the the finding of (EEE)|coupled with 2 confirmed equine cases of EEE and one confirmed human case, indicates the EEE virus is present in high levels in Oswego County. That human case was 4 year old Maggie Wilcox who died of EEE over the weekend.

      Oswego County Public Information Coordinator Janet Clerkin confirms to CNY Central TMs Jim Kenyon that the county received the declaration. Clerkin says there still some other steps including permission from the State Department of Environmental Conservation.

      We TMve started the approval process with the DEC Clerkin said. The first area to be targeted is Toad Harbor and the Central Square area. The county would also spray the Lot 10 Road area in Palermo, as well as the Town of Mexico.

      We've also learend a dog died as a result of EEE.

      Dr. Norfleet had previously stated that once the declaration of an imminent threat was granted, it would take four to five days before spraying would actually begin.

      This decision comes after the death of a four-year-old girl from EEE last weekend. County officials had originally stated that they would not spray for mosquitoes, but changed course after additional tests for EEE returned positive.

      Do you agree with the state and county's decision to spray for mosquitoes? Should they wait, or should it have happened sooner? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.