Immediate Release


Oneida County Department of Health

520 Seneca Street

Monday, August 26, 2020

Utica, NY  13502



The Oneida County Health Department was notified this afternoon, Monday, August 26, 2020 by the State Health Department that a hatch year crow found near the Emerson Avenue area of Utica tested positive for the West Nile Virus. This is the twelfth West Nile positive bird in Oneida County this year. The male crow was found dead on August 11, 2002, and submitted for testing to New York State Department Of Health Wadsworth Laboratory. Oneida County Health Department officials will place a CDC light trap in the area where the crow was found in order to determine if vector species of mosquito are active in the area.

The Oneida County Department of Environmental Health is currently maintaining eight CDC light traps in order to monitor mosquito activity within the county. Any potential vector species of mosquito are submitted for testing to Wadsworth Laboratory. All reports of dead birds are also being investigated, and suitable specimens are being sent to the New York State Department of Health in order to be tested for West Nile virus.

Property owners can minimize the risk to themselves and their neighbors by finding and eliminating mosquito-breeding sites. This does not just apply to business and homeowners who live near water. Mosquitoes can breed in unlikely locations a bottle cap filled with water, leaf debris or clogged rain gutters, and uncovered garbage containers. Discarded tires are a particular problem. A thorough clean up will not only improve the appearance of a property, it will help lower the risk of being bitten by a mosquito.

Oneida County residents can reduce their risk of exposure to West Nile virus in areas of high mosquito activity by wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants, through the proper use of insect repellants containing DEET, and by limiting outdoor activity at times of the heaviest mosquito activity. This is typically dusk to dark.

As the warm weather continues, mosquitoes will become more prevalent. It is important to take clean-up action now to curb the spread of West Nile Virus as much as possible.

The Oneida County Health Department requests the assistance of the public in reporting potential breeding sites due to standing water that residents see on public lands or on abandoned properties. Contact the Health Department at 798-5064.

Dead crows, jays or hawks could be a sign of West Nile Virus, but it is important to remember that not all dead birds are killed by West Nile Virus. Contact the Oneida County Health Department at 798-5064 to report dead crows, jays, and hawks. Not all birds can or should be picked up for testing.

Any questions or concerns regarding this or any public health issue can also be referred to the Oneida County Health Department at 798-5064.

For more information:  You can visit the Oneida County Health Department web site at ,
New York State Department of Health at,
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at
and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency at