Several mosquito samples across New York State have tested positive for West Nile Virus.
Two mosquito pools have tested positive for West Nile Virus in Onondaga County, according to the County Health Department.
One of the positive pools was at Onondaga Lake Park and the other in the Belle Isle Road trap in Geddes.
In Westchester County, two batches in Yonkers were found to be carrying the virus. So far, there have been at least 69 positive cases across New York State.
Health officials say they expect to see an increase in mosquitos carrying the virus in the summer months and warm residents to take personal protection measures to limit exposure to mosquitoes.
“Even though mosquito counts are low at this time, it is extremely important that people use personal protection measures to help reduce their risk of being bitten by a mosquito,” said County Health Commissioner Dr. Indu Gupta.
Reducing exposure to mosquitoes is the best way to protect yourself from West Nile Virus and other mosquito-borne viruses.
Personal protection is recommended during outdoor activities by wearing shoes, socks, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt when outside for a long period of time.
Applying a mosquito repellent containing DEET, Picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, or IR3535 is also recommended to prevent mosquito bites.
It is also important to reduce mosquito breeding grounds to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home:
- Throw away outdoor containers, ceramic pots or containers that hold water
- Remove all tires from your property
- Drill holes in the bottoms of recycling containers that are kept outdoors
- Clean clogged rain gutters and make sure they continue to work properly
- Turn over wheelbarrows and wading pools when not in use
- Change water in bird baths at least every four days
- Clear vegetation and debris from the edges of ponds
- Clean chlorinated swimming pools, outdoor saunas, and hot tubs
- Drain water from pool covers
- Use landscaping to eliminate low spots where standing water accumulates
West Nile Virus generally causes flu-like symptoms, but for older people and those with health issues, it can become more serious. Talk to your doctor if you think you may have contracted the virus.
For more information on West Nile Virus and weekly mosquito pool test results, click here or call the Onondaga County Health Department, Division of Environmental Health at (315) 435-1649.