Central New York, Environment, Health

Central New Yorkers May Be At Risk Of Catching Rare Virus

(c) Dom Muccilo West Nile Virus was found in a mosquito trap in Onondaga Lake earlier this week.

Click the link above to learn more about triple-e, or read the transcript

By Dominick Muccilo, SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — Eastern Equine Encephalitis, known as “EEE” could pose more severe implications to the area than West Nile Virus.

The West Nile Virus happens seasonally but EEE doesn’t. Lisa Letteney, the Director of Environmental Health in Onondaga County, wouldn’t rule out the threat of EEE.

“In most years, we’ll see EEE also,” she said. “It’s not uncommon to see both.”

The difference between West Nile and EEE, Letteney says, is that EEE has fatal consequences.

A Larviciding program for areas with a lot of water has begun to reduce the number of mosquitoes in certain areas. The county is also setting mosquito traps and sending them out to a lab for testing. Despite this, Letteney makes no promises.

(c) Dom Muccilo West Nile Virus was found in a mosquito trap in Onondaga Lake earlier this week

“We’re certainly not trapping every mosquito, so that’s why it’s important that everybody protects themselves from mosquito bites,” she said.

The best way to prevent getting West Nile or EEE, Letteney says is to wear layers and don’t forget to apply bug spray.

Officials discovered West Nile Virus earlier this week in mosquito traps in two locations in Syracuse. The virus was found at Onondaga Lake Park and on Belle Isle Road in Geddes.

Mosquitoes carry the virus and spread it when they bite. In most cases, symptoms are usually chills and a fever for a week or two. However, in rare cases, if not treated properly, the virus can be fatal.

Letteney says the Onondaga County Health Department will continue to monitor the situation.