Volney, NY (WIBX) - State Senator Patty Ritchie is doing her part to raise homeowners' awareness of Eastern Equine Encephalitis, a deadly virus that attacks horses and humans.

According to Ritchie, a new free larvicide treatment will be made available to 2,700 homeowners in six counties, including Madison and Oneida.

The push for more EEE awareness stems from an incident last summer, when a 4 year-old in Oswego County died after contracting the disease.

EEE is carried by certain mosquitoes who have fed on infected birds. The mosquitoes then bite horses and other livestock, infecting them.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, infections in humans are rare but can be deadly, with a 33 percent mortality rate. Since 1971, five people have died from EEE in New York State, with all cases happening in Oswego and Onondaga Counties.