OSWEGO COUNTY — The Oswego County Health Department is set to conduct aerial spraying of a diluted pesticide over the southeast end of the county on Friday in order to reduce the population of disease-carrying mosquitoes in the area.
Officials say the spraying will be conducted over approximately 10,000 acres spanning the towns of Hastings, West Monroe and Constantia. Earlier this week, the health department reported six samples of mosquitoes carrying Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) from the Toad Harbor swamp in West Monroe and sampling sites in Hastings and Constantia.
EEE is an extremely rare but serious and often fatal infection that causes encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain, and has been declared an “imminent threat to public health” by the state’s Department of Health (DOH). fatal and many survivors have ongoing neurologic problems. There is no human vaccine against EEE and no available specific antiviral treatment.
The county this week received permission and the permits required to conduct aerial spraying from the state’s Departments of Health and Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
The pesticide, called Kontrol 30-30, is set to be applied on Friday by the Duflo Spray-Chemical company, according to county officials. Kontrol 30-30 contains permethrin, an insecticide commonly known to treat head lice.
The area to be sprayed is within the following boundaries, officials said: U.S. Route 11 in Central Square to the west, State Route 49 to the north, up to but not including the village of Constantia to the east; and the shoreline of Oneida Lake to the south. Pesticide will not be applied over the open waters of Oneida Lake.
Residents in the spray area should stay indoors and keep windows and doors closed between 6 and 10 p.m., health department officials said and residents are also advised to:
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, and rinse homegrown fruits and vegetables thoroughly before cooking or eating.
Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang said it is imperative people take steps to protect themselves against mosquitoes in areas across Oswego County. Aerial spraying can be effective in reducing mosquito populations, but it does not eliminate all mosquitoes, he added.
“Aerial spraying is a temporary control measure,” Huang advised. “People should limit their outdoor activities around dawn and dusk, use insect repellents, wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts, shoes and socks when outdoors and eliminate standing water around the home.”
The county’s department of health recommends repellents containing DEET — a chemical ingredient commonly found in bug repellents — as the most effective. Products containing picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus are also recommended.
Residents within the spray area will be notified of the spraying by the Hyper-Reach Broadcast Notification Service through Oswego County’s E-9-1-1 Emergency Communications Department. Additional information is available on the Oswego County website at www.oswegocounty.com.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only a few cases of EEE are reported each year in the United States, but approximately 30 percent of EEE cases prove The virus is maintained in a cycle by a single species of mosquito, which feeds almost exclusively on birds, and avian hosts in freshwater hardwood swamps in the eastern United States. The CDC notes transmission to humans requires another mosquito species capable of creating a “bridge” between infected birds and uninfected mammals.