Cicero, NY – A case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) has been found in a human in Onondaga County, and now health officials say they will spray swamp areas to try to slow the spread of the disease.
Four pools of mosquitoes in the town of Cicero tested positive for EEE last month. Two of the pools contained mosquitoes that bite humans.
Onondaga County Health Commissioner, Cynthia Morrow, says it's been 20 years since the last case of EEE was found in a human in the county.
"Unfortunately," she says, "it's much more serious than the flu for people who get it. Again, it's very rare, but this virus tends to cause encephalitis - which is inflammation of the brain - and it has a high fatality rate. So, many people who get EEE, who are actually sick with it, end up dying or having severe neurological problems afterward."
Morrow says the Onondaga County officials plan to spray the Cicero Swamp and Toad Harbor areas Tuesday evening. She says residents of those areas should still be careful to keep their arms and legs covered and use insect repellent to keep from contracting EEE.