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Goshen, N.Y. - As a result of the continuing monitoring of Orange County’s mosquito population by the Orange County Department of Health (OCDOH), mosquito pools carrying West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) have been identified in Orange County. The Orange County Department of Health has been working with local municipalities where mosquitoes positive for West Nile Virus have been found. There have been 12 positive WNV positive pools and one positive EEE mosquito pool found this season. There have been no human cases of either virus to date.
The Orange County Department of Health has been conducting mosquito monitoring for several years and in addition, contracts with a licensed pesticide specialist that dispenses larvicide in storm drains throughout the county. The larvicide is used to help stop the breeding of mosquitoes in the larval stage of life. Larvicide kills the mosquito larva before they become adults and start flying around, looking for a blood meal.
“The discovery of these diseases in the mosquito population is a reminder that these viruses are still present and a risk,” said Orange County Health Commissioner Dr. Irina Gelman. Although the risk is lower as we near the first frost, residents should still wear appropriate clothing and consider insect repellent when outdoors and check their property for any pooling or standing water.
The best way to protect yourself from these diseases is to keep mosquitoes from biting you. One of the best ways to do this is to take steps to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home or property, including eliminating standing water in yards.
Repellents also provide protection against tick and mosquito bites. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend choosing a repellent that contains DEET, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus for use on skin. Clothing and gear, such as boots, pants, socks and tents, can be treated with products containing permethrin. (Permethrin should not be used on skin.) Treated clothing or gear remains protective through several washings. Pre-treated clothing is also available and remains protective for up to 70 washings. For all repellents, follow the label directions and apply in small amounts, avoiding contact with the eyes, nose or mouth. Use only small amounts when applying repellents on children.
Mosquito Prevention Tips
OCDOH recommends the following precautions to reduce risk of infection from mosquito-borne diseases:
For more information on Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus visit: https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/eastern_equine_encephalitis/fact_sheet.htm
For more information West Nile Virus visit: https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/west_nile_virus/fact_sheet.htm
For more information on mosquito prevention or protection, call the Orange County Department of Health at 845-291-2332 or visit http://www.healthyorange.com/vector-borne-diseases/.