West Nile Virus (WNV)

The West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne infection that can cause flu-like symptoms and in rare cases can cause encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). Precautions should be taken to reduce your risk of being bitten by mosquitoes.

Neighborhood Cooperation

Mosquito control begins at the neighborhood level. Reducing mosquito breeding sites not only reduces mosquitoes in your yard, but your neighbor's yard too. Common neighborhood breeding sites include tires and stagnant wading/swimming pools. Whenever a potential breeding site is reported to the Cortland County Health Department, we will be sending the resident/owner this information sheet on mosquito control in the hopes of obtaining voluntary cooperation in eliminating breeding sites on the property.

To eliminate mosquito breeding sites around your home:
  • Dispose of all water holding containers where water can stagnate.
  • Remove all discarded tires on the property.
  • Drill holes to drain water from recycling containers that are kept outdoors.
  • Make sure roof gutters drain properly, and clean clogged gutters in the spring and fall.
  • Turn over plastic wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use.
  • Change the water in bird baths three times per week or put them away for the season.
  • Clean vegetation and debris from the edges of ponds.
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs.
  • Prevent pools from stagnating.
  • Drain water from pool covers.
  • Use landscaping to eliminate stagnant water on your property.
Reduce your risk of being bitten by mosquitoes:
  • Reduce or eliminate all stagnant water in your yard.
  • Make sure all windows and doors have screens and keep all screens repaired.
  • Wear long sleeve shirts and pants in the evening if you are outside.
  • Use insect repellent in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.
Fight the Bite!

Additional Information

For more information about the West Nile Virus, please contact the Cortland County Health Department at 753-5035.