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SULLIVAN, N.Y. – The Madison County Health Department has received the first positive test results this season showing Eastern Equine Encephalitis is present in a mosquito pool in the town of Sullivan.
The sample was collected at a trap site on Smith Ridge Road on Aug. 3 and the positive results were received on Aug. 9.
According to the health department, the type of mosquito is a bird-biting species, but people should still take precautions.
“Residents should take steps at home to prevent mosquito bites,” said Madison County Public Health Director Eric Faisst. “Avoiding mosquito bites is the single best thing to do. Apply insect repellent when you are outside and limit outside activity between dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active. We live in areas where mosquitoes thrive and cannot be eliminated, so we must be vigilant with our personal protection.”
The health department is taking additional precautions as well, including establishing an additional trapping site and informing the public, veterinarians and horse owners in the county about what they can do to prevent exposure.
Health officials say horses are very sensitive to EEE and monitoring both human and animal health are key elements of the department’s surveillance program.
Veterinarians and horse owners are encouraged to contact the health department if a horse begins displaying neurological signs of illness.
As the county continues to monitor the situation, the public will be notified if additional steps, like aerial spraying, become necessary.
The Madison County Health Department recommends these steps for residents to take at home:
Symptoms of EEE include sudden high fever, muscle pains, and a headache of increasing severity. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek medical attention immediately.
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