A horse at the southern end of Cayuga County died from West Nile virus, which is transmitted by mosquitoes, according to a release from the Cayuga County Health Department.
The department was notified by the state Department of Health about the death, and as of Friday it said no other animal or human deaths in the county have been reported due to the illness.
About eight of 10 people do not exhibit symptoms of the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some, however, may develop a fever and exhibit symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash. About 1 in 150 people infected can develop a severe illness, according to the CDC.
In the meantime, the department is encouraging the public to remain vigilant and use personal protection measures to minimize the potential of mosquito bites. People should wear shoes and socks, long pants and long-sleeved shirts when outdoors. The health department also recommends using a mosquito repellent containing 20 to 30 percent DEET or Picardin.
To reduce mosquito breeding on property, eliminate standing water by cleaning clogged rain gutters, turning over wheelbarrows and wading pools, changing out water in bird baths, properly maintain and drain swimming pools, remove tires, throw away outdoor containers that hold water, drill holes in the bottoms of recycling containers and use landscaping to eliminate low spots where water could accumulate.
For more information, call the health department at (315) 253-1560 or visit cayugacounty.us/environmental.