Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announces the first human case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) this season in a child from Candia. The results of the test were just confirmed over the weekend by the Massachusetts public health lab.
“It is with much sadness that we have to make this announcement,” said DHHS Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas. “Our thoughts go out to the family of this child who is fighting this serious disease. I want to urge New Hampshire residents not to become complacent about taking protective measures against EEE and West Nile Virus (WNV) this season. Just because the weather is getting cooler does not mean the threat has passed.”
DHHS is also announcing a horse in Henniker tested positive for EEE. This is in addition to an alpaca and llama from Candia, and a horse from Bow, and 37 positive mosquito pools. The total number of mosquito pools tested so far this season is 2,970. There have been no positive test results in New Hampshire for West Nile virus this season.
DHHS recently included the following towns on a public health threat list because of EEE: Allenstown, Atkinson, Auburn, Barrington, Bedford, Bow, Brentwood, Candia, Chester, Chichester, Concord, Danville, Deerfield, Derry, Dover, Dunbarton, Durham, East Kingston, Epping, Epsom, Exeter, Fremont, Greenland, Goffstown, Hampstead, Hampton, Hampton Falls, Hooksett, Hopkinton, Hudson, Kensington, Kingston, Lee, Litchfield, Londonderry, Madbury, Manchester, Merrimack, Nashua, New Castle, Newfields, Newington, Newmarket, Newton, North Hampton, Northwood, Nottingham, Pelham, Pembroke, Plaistow, Portsmouth, Raymond, Rye, Salem, Sandown, Seabrook, South Hampton, Stratham, and Windham.
This public health threat declaration allows for expedited permitting for mosquito control and allows the State to reimburse cities and towns for up to 25% of their costs associated with mosquito control and abatement if local communities have an approved mosquito control plan and the State determines that there is a threat to residents from mosquito-borne illnesses.
“This increase in EEE activity in the State in recent weeks has been disturbing, so it is important that people remember to wear repellent when outside everywhere in the State not just in the towns covered by the public health threat declaration,” said Dr. Jose Montero, Public Health Director at DHHS. “EEE and West Nile are a continued concern until there is a hard frost statewide, which could be quite a few weeks away.”
For more, call the DHHS information line for EEE/West Nile virus questions at 1-866-273-6453 or visit the DHHS website at www.dhhs.nh.gov
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Prevention Guidelines for West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis
NH Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health Services
1. Eliminate standing water and other mosquito breeding locations around your property. Please do not attempt to drain or alter natural waterbodies for mosquito control, since the management of ponds and wetlands is regulated by the Department of Environmental Services and any planned alterations will require a permit before work may begin. In warm weather, mosquitoes can breed in any puddle that lasts more than 4 days!
· Remove old tires from your property.
· Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots, or other containers. Don’t overlook containers that have become overgrown by aquatic vegetation.
· Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers that are left outside
· Make sure roof gutters are clean and draining properly.
· Clean and chlorinate swimming pools and hot tubs. If not in use,keep empty and covered and keep covers free of standing water.
· Aerate garden ponds or stock them with fish.
· Turn over wheelbarrows and change water in birdbaths at least twice weekly.
· Turn over plastic wading pools when not in use.
· Remind or help neighbors to eliminate breeding sites on their properties.
2. Be aware of where mosquitoes live and breed and keep them from entering your home.
· Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Weeds, tall grass, and bushes provide an outdoor home for adult mosquitoes, including several species commonly associated with West Nile virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis.
· Mosquitoes can enter homes through unscreened windows or doors or broken screens. Make sure that doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace all screens in your home that have tears or holes.
· Resting mosquitoes can often be flushed from indoor resting sites by using sweeping motions under beds, behind bedside tables etc. and once in flight, exterminated prior to sleeping at night.
3. Protect yourself from mosquito bites.
· If outside during evening, nighttime, and dawn hours when mosquitoes are most active and likely to bite, children and adults should wear protective clothing such as long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and socks.
· Consider the use of an effective insect repellent, such as one containing DEET. A repellent containing 30% or less DEET (N, N-diethyl-methyl-meta-toluamide) for children and adults. Use DEET according to the manufacturer's directions. Children should not apply DEET to themselves. Repellents that contain Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 have also been determined to be effective.
· Vitamin B, ultrasonic devices, incense, and bug zappers have not been shown to be effective in preventing mosquito bites.
For more information on West Nile Virus or Eastern Equine Encephalitis, call the NH Department of Health and Human Services toll-free West Nile Virus Information Line at 866–273–NILE (6543), or visit the DHHS website at www.dhhs.nh.gov.23367¹