3:13pm

Thu September 29, 2011
Regional Coverage

Schumer Calls for EEE Summit

The war on Triple-E in Central New York is getting some federal firepower.  New York’s senior U.S. Senator has a plan he hopes will help deal with a virus , that's transmitted by mosquitos and has become a part of our environment.

Sen. Chuck Schumer announced Tuesday a three pronged federal plan to help local officials fight Eastern Equine Encephalitis, the mosquito borne illness that killed a 4 year old Oswego County girl this summer. 

"Our local and state health departments have done a great job," said Schumer. "I have no dispute with them. They could use federal help."

There are three points to Schumer's plan. First, getting more federal funds into researching the disease. Second, increase public awareness. Third, sponsor a EEE summit before the next mosquito season begins. 

The part of the plan that appeals most to Onondaga County Health Commissioner Dr. Cynthia Morrow is a survey that analyzes blood samples from people who have lived in central New York for at least 10 years. 

"For us to understand how many people in our community have an immuno-response to EEE will really help us understand how many people actually have those asymptomatic infections and never even know about it," said Dr. Morrow.

EEE is one of a group of mosquito transmitted virus that can cause encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain.