Every year the Oneida County Health Department tests 75 different mosquito pools throughout the summer to see if they contain West Nile Virus or Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). So far this year the health Department says there have been no traces of either disease found in the area. West Nile Virus is transmittable by mosquito bites and can cause mild to severe illness in humans. EEE is almost always fatal in horses and has been know to cause serious health problems for young children and those with weak immune systems.

Taking personal protection measures is the key to lowering the risk of mosquito borne illness. Some actions you can take to reduce the risk of mosquito bites are:

-Limit outdoor activity between dusk and dawn, when mosquitos are the most active.

-Wear shoes, socks and cover limbs when outside for long periods of time.

- Use an insect repellent that contains DEET, but be sure to follow the instructions carefully.

Here are some steps you can take to reduce mosquito breeding grounds in your area:

-Eliminate standing water by removing outdoor plastic containers or anything that can hold standing water such as tires, empty planters and other containers.

-Drill holes in the bottoms of recycling containers that are kept outdoors to let water drain out of them.

- Turn over wading pools and wheelbarrows when you are not using them.

-Change water in bird baths regularly.

-Drain water from pool covers and clean chlorinated swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs.

For more information on mosquito illness and prevention contact the Oneida County Health Department by calling 315-798-5064 or by visiting www.ocgov.net/oneida/health