West Nile Virus found in mosquito pool in town of Sullivan

— The Madison County Health Department announced Aug. 14 that West Nile virus was found in a mosquito pool collected in the town of Sullivan in Madison County. This mosquito pool was collected on Aug. 6 and is the first positive WNV mosquito pool found in Madison County since 2011.

A mosquito pool is a collection of mosquitoes of the same species taken from a site for testing. The tests were performed in the State Department of Health’s Wadsworth Center Laboratories near Albany. The test results were reported to the Madison County Health Department today.

“Residents should take steps at home to lower the chance of being bitten by mosquitos,” said Madison County Public Health Director Eric Faisst. “Avoiding mosquito bites is the best thing you can do. When outside, wear insect repellent, stay away from areas with large numbers of mosquitoes and limit outside activity between dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.”

Surveillance activities by the Environmental Health Division will continue. Any actions beyond personal protection will be taken only if deemed necessary and after consultation with the New York State Department of Health. At this time, no aerial spraying is recommended.

Madison County Health Department recommends these steps:

—Use insect repellent properly. Those that contain DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus are most effective but should be used according to package instructions.

—Limit outdoor activities in areas when mosquitoes are most actively biting: between dawn and dusk.

—When outside, dress to create a barrier between you and the mosquitos. Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, shoes and socks as weather permits.

In addition, residents can take these protective measures to lower mosquito populations in and around homes and properties:

—Repair or replace all window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.

—Reduce or eliminate all standing water. Empty or dispose of pails, tires, cans, flower pots or similar water-holding containers.

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