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Sam Carter Syracuse, N.Y. (NCC News) – On Tuesday, the Onondaga County Department of Health announced that West Nile virus was detected in two of its mosquito testing pools. The positive tests came from Onondaga Lake Park Belle Isle Road in Geddes
West Nile is a virus that is most often transmitted to humans through mosquito bites.
According to the Director of Environmental Health for Onondaga County Lisa Letteney, the most common symptoms of West Nile virus are a mild fever and a headache. Fortunately, 80 percent of those infected with the virus will experience few if any symptoms at all.
However, according to the Centers for Disease Control, 1 in 150 infected people will develop serious symptoms like encephalitis which, in some cases could lead to death.
Letteney said preventing Mosquito bites is the key to avoiding West Nile.
“It’s important for people to protect themselves so they can certainly use mosquito repellents. We recommend ones with DEET, Pecarden, lemon oil of eucalyptus and IR 35-35,” Letteney said.
Apart from using bug repellent, Letteney recommends wearing long sleeves and pants when outside especially when in wooded areas.
She pointed out there is one simple step everyone can take to help reduce mosquito populations.
“[People should] Make sure they empty those pots that they are not using like the plant pots they’re not using,” Letteney said. “Empty kiddie pools, clean those bird baths and if they have a swimming pool make sure you’re chlorinating that swimming pool. Just eliminate any kind of standing water.”
In 2017, two cases of West Nile virus in humans were reported in Onondaga County.