A mosquito pool from a trap located on Moore Road in the Town of Sullivan has tested positive for the Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus, otherwise known as EEEv. The New York State Health Department notified officials in Madison County earlier this week.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, EEEv is a rare cause of encephalitis or inflammation of the brain. People over the age of 50 and younger than the age of 15 are at greatest risk for developing severe disease when infected with EEEv. Only a few cases are reported in the United States each year.

Although the type of mosquito identified in primarily a bird-biting species, the officials with Madison County say that cases like this remind us that mosquito-borne disease is present in the area. Residents should take steps daily to prevent mosquito bites, no matter where we live.

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“The EEEv can be spread to a persons from the bite of an infected mosquito; therefore it is very important that you use personal protection measures to prevent mosquito bites,” said Madison County’s Public health Director Eric Faisst.

What's the Most Effective Way to Prevent Infection from EEEv?

The most effective way to protect yourself is to prevent mosquito bites. Summers in Central New York can be brutal when it comes to mosquito bites, but you can take action during the day and at night to try and avoid them. Here's some tips from the CDC.

  • Use Insect Repellent: you can find the right insect repellent for you by using EPA’s search tool.
  •  Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants: use permethrin to treat clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents) or buy permethrin-treated clothing and gear.
  • Take steps to control mosquitoes indoors and outdoors: uses screens on windows and doors, repair holes in screens to keep mosquitoes outdoors. Use air conditioning, stop mosquitoes from laying eggs in or near water (once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out items that hold water, such as tires, buckets, planters, toys, pools, birdbaths, flowerpots, or trash containers.)

For more information or to view Madison County’s weekly mosquito test results, go to the Department’s website at healthymadisoncounty.org.

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