Take steps to prevent spread of mosquito-carried diseases

Published 8:03 pm Wednesday, June 7, 2023

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Local horse owners are encouraged to vaccinate their horses. Eastern Equine Encephalitis is detected yearly in Suffolk, but horse owners can protect their animals from this deadly disease by vaccinating them, according to the mosquito control division of Suffolk Public Works.

If a horse is already vaccinated, it may only need a booster, mosquito control said in a news release..  

“We detect Eastern Equine Encephalitis and West Nile Virus yearly, but people have never contracted either from these mosquitoes,” Charles Abadam, superintendent of Suffolk Mosquito Control, said. “However, horses are commonly found with Eastern Equine Encephalitis in Suffolk, and we urge owners to vaccinate. If they have any questions, they can contact us.” 

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Dog and cat owners also are encouraged to take part in preventing heartworm disease from affecting their animals.  

Residents can help eliminate mosquito-breeding sites around the home and neighborhood by following these steps:

  • Empty water-holding containers, such as buckets, drums, bottles, tin cans, wheelbarrows, potted plant trays, etc.
  • Properly dispose of used tires. 
  • Clear roof gutters, downspouts and corrugated black drain pipes for any water collection. 
  • Clean wading and swimming pools
  • Drain water from tarps
  • Place Mosquito Dunks in stagnant water areas around the home, including ditches and low-lying areas

Free Mosquito Dunks are available to Suffolk citizens at City Hall, all fire stations, all recreation centers, all libraries and Public Works Operations at 800 Carolina Rd. To receive free Mosquito Dunks, a resident must be 18 years of age or older, have proof of residence in the city, have proper picture identification, and sign an “information sheet.” 

When arriving at the fire station, a flier on the front door details specific instructions on how to retrieve dunks. Placing Mosquito Dunks in stagnant water habitats is a common practice to eliminate mosquito larvae.

For more information concerning EEE and WNV, visit the Virginia Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites, vdh.virginia.gov and cdc.gov.

For more information about Suffolk Mosquito Control, visit www.suffolkva.us/mosquito or contact Abadam at mosquito control, 757-514-7609 or cabadam@suffolkva.us