OSWEGO – Health officials have announced a second aerial spraying in Oswego County scheduled for tonight and tomorrow in an effort to subdue mosquito populations carrying the potentially deadly Eastern equine encephalitis virus.
The Oswego County Health Department announced Friday afternoon plans to spray approximately 12,000 acres in portions of the towns of Palermo, Mexico and Hastings tonight if weather permits. The 12,000-acre swath of land is in addition to the 10,000-acre area near Toad Harbor Swamp sprayed last month, which is scheduled for another spraying Tuesday evening.
Health officials say aerial spraying is used to reduce mosquito populations that carry the Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus. Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang describes aerial spraying as a temporary, partial measure to control the spread of the EEE virus.
Huang said it is imperative that people continue to take steps to protect themselves against mosquitoes in areas across Oswego County. County officials note aerial spraying can be effective in reducing mosquito populations, but it does not eliminate all mosquitoes.
Health officials said people should continue to limit their outdoor activities around dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active, use insect repellents and wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, shoes and socks when outdoors. Officials also recommend eliminating standing water around the home.
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 fatal and many survivors have ongoing neurologic problems.
There is no human vaccine against EEE and no available specific antiviral treatment, according to the CDC.
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.
County officials said a goat in the town of Palermo that was euthanized on Aug. 29 tested positive for the EEE virus, according to lab results from the state Department of Health (DOH). The goat is the fifth mammal fatality due to EEE in Oswego County this year, according to health officials, who noted four horses were euthanized in August.
The area to be sprayed Monday is south of the village of Mexico to roughly county Route 45 between county Route 3 and county Route 69.
The area to be sprayed over the Toad Harbor Swamp area is identical to the previous spraying, east of U.S. Route 11 to the village of Constantia line in the east, and north of Oneida Lake to state Route 49 in the north.
Officials note aerial spraying is dependent on weather conditions, and 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.
The product Kontrol 30-30, which contains permethrin, will be applied in a diluted form by Lowville-based Duflo Spray-Chemical.
Information about the pesticide can be found on the Oswego County website at www.oswegocounty.com/health/index.html, or obtained by calling the Oswego County Health Department.
Residents in the spray area should stay indoors and keep windows and doors closed between 6 and 10 p.m.
The county advises residents to keep pets indoors, close vents and windows and remove outdoor items.