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Published On: Wed, Sep 4th, 2019

New York: Two Horses Tested Positive for EEE Virus in Oswego County

Officials with the Oswego County health department reported that two more horses, located in the towns of Albion and Amboy, tested positive for the Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus. Both horses were euthanized last week.

Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang said that it is vital for people to take steps to protect themselves against mosquitoes in all areas of the county.

Image/David Benbennick

He said, “Aerial spraying was effective in reducing mosquito populations, but it does not eliminate all mosquitoes. It is still very important for people to continue their efforts to prevent exposure to mosquitoes.”

It is estimated that they were infected before the aerial spraying on Aug. 20.

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) is spread to horses and humans by infected mosquitoes, including several Culex species and Culiseta melanura.

Symptoms of EEE disease often appear 4 to 10 days after someone is bitten by an infected mosquito.

EEE is a more serious disease than West Nile Virus (WNV) and carries a high mortality rate for those who contract the serious encephalitis form of the illness. Symptoms may include high fever, severe headache, stiff neck, and sore throat. There is no specific treatment for the disease, which can lead to seizures and coma.

People should 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; and eliminate standing water around the home.

Repellents containing DEET are the most effective but should be used with caution and according to label instructions. Products containing picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus are also effective.

  • Repair or replace window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside and reduce or eliminate all standing water.
  • Dispose of old tires. Used tires are a significant mosquito breeding site and are accepted at Oswego County transfer stations. Call the Oswego County Solid Waste Department at 315-591-9200 for details.
  • Empty or dispose of pails, cans, flower pots and similar water-holding containers.
  • Drill holes in the bottoms of recycling containers that are kept outdoors.
  • Clear roof gutters and be sure they drain properly.
  • Turn over wheelbarrows and wading pools when not in use.
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs and drain pool covers.
  • Change the water in birdbaths and horse troughs twice a week.
  • Remove leaf debris from yards and gardens and clean vegetation and debris from the edge of ponds.
  • Use landscaping to eliminate standing water that collects on your property.
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