Eastern Equine Encephalitis in Wayne County

    By on September 24, 2015

    The Wayne County Public Health (WCPH) Department has received notification from the New York State Department of Health Arbovirus Laboratory of a positive report of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in a horse in the Town of Galen in Wayne County.

    Due to the fact that four horses died of EEE in September 2014, Wayne County Public Health is actively trapping mosquitoes in the Town of Rose and Galen and sending them for testing on a weekly basis.

    Currently, no pools of mosquitoes have tested positive for EEE or West Nile Virus (WNV).

    Unvaccinated horses are very vulnerable to the EEE virus (EEEV) and die from the disease if infected.

    It is important to understand that even though the mosquito pools tested for EEE and WNV have resulted as negative, the death of a horse from EEE indicates there are mosquitoes in Wayne County carrying the EEEV.

    EEE is a rare disease caused by a virus spread by infected mosquitoes. EEEV is one of a group of mosquito-transmitted viruses that can cause inflammation of the brain (encephalitis). EEE is a rare illness in humans and is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can affect humans, birds, horses and other mammals. Disease transmission does not occur directly from person to person, mammal to mammal, or mammal to person.

    Mosquitoes are most active from dusk to dawn. WCPH is urging residents to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites and protect themselves from potential exposure to the mosquito born illness until the first hard frost by:

    Using insect repellent properly. Those that contain DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus are most effective but should be used with care. Read the product label and use according to package instructions.

    Limiting outdoor activities in areas where mosquitoes are most active and between dusk and dawn which is the peak mosquito biting time.

    If you have to be outside, wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, shoes and socks as weather permits.

    Repairing or replacing all window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside. Reducing or eliminating all standing water. Emptying or disposing of pails, cans, flower pots, or similar water-holding containers.

    Clearing roof gutters, removing leaf debris from yards and gardens, and cleaning vegetation and debris from the edge of ponds.

    Turning over wheelbarrows and wading pools when not in use. Cleaning and chlorinating swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs and drain pool covers. Changing the water in birdbaths and horse troughs twice a week. Disposing properly of old tires.

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