OLEAN – Life-threatening diseases carried by mosquitoes caused few problems this summer in Cattaraugus County, according to Dr. Kevin Watson, the county’s public health director.
State and federal agencies posted warnings about Eastern Equine Encephalitis and West Nile Virus.
As the season winds down, ending this month, only one case of each was reported in the area, and only one of those was in Cattaraugus County.
“We had one horse in Randolph that was diagnosed with West Nile Virus,” Watkins said. “There was a reported case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis in Kiantone, in Chautauqua County, as well.”
In the effort to fight against all the potential dangers, mosquitoes were captured from around the county and tested for several diseases, as directed by the alerts and advisories from higher-level agencies.
Watkins said he is proposing increased surveillance of these illnesses as part of the 2014 Health Department budget.
The budget has yet to be approved by County Administrator John R. “Jack” Searles and the Legislature, has come in at $10.95 million, according to Watkins, up $814,000 this year.
The Department of Health has established stations to be able to vaccinate all county employees for the anticipated influenza virus.