Central New York, Environment, Syracuse

First Case Of West Nile Virus Arrives in Onondaga County

Mosquito Trap. (c) 2018 , Onondaga County Health Department,

By Kylan Watson, Syracuse, N.Y. (NCC News) —

West Nile Virus has been found in Onondaga County. The infected insects were tested and found in mosquito traps at Onondaga Lake Park and Geddes. West Nile Virus is more common during the summer months in the area, but this is the first time this summer that it has been found in the county.

Over the past week Onondaga County has experienced a lot of rain.  Lisa Letteney the Director of Environmental Health for Onondaga County said distilled water is a prime breeding spot for mosquitoes.

“We’ve had some large storms so it’s important that you remove water from your yard”, she said. “In like containers, in your yard, kiddie pools, clean out bird baths, and if you have a swimming pool makes sure it is chlorinated. If you eliminate those breeding spots that helps a lot.”

Letteney said mosquitoes are an environmental problem and cannot be stopped from moving around the county so residents must protect themselves.

“So in order to do that you should wear, shoes, socks, and long pants when outside for extended periods of time”, she said.

This may just be the beginning of West Nile in Onondaga County.

Letteney said, “Once we find it, especially West Nile we expect to find more in the coming weeks.”

West Nile Virus is a very common problem in Onondaga County and Letteney said the best way to protect yourself is to use repellant with deet or oil of lemon eucalyptus.

Using repellent may be the most effective way to keep residents safe from infected mosquitoes.