NH DHHS - Identifies First Positive Test for WNV This Season

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is announcing the first positive test result for West Nile Virus (WNV) this season is from a mosquito pool from Nashua, in Hillsborough County. WNV is transmitted from the bite of an infected mosquito. WNV was first identified in NH in August of 2000. Since that time, four people in NH have become ill following WNV infection.

“While this is the first indication of West Nile Virus in New Hampshire this season, we have been hearing of positive test results from some of our neighboring states,” said Public Health Director Dr. José Montero, “so this finding is not unexpected. This is however, a reminder to all of us that we should be taking steps to prevent mosquito bites. We encourage residents and visitors to enjoy the beautiful summer weather, but do so safely. You can protect yourself and your family with a few simple steps, such as using effective mosquito repellant, wearing long sleeves and pants at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active, and remove standing water from around your house so mosquitoes do not have a place to breed.”

Symptoms of the disease often appear 4 to 10 days after being bitten. If you or someone you know is experiencing flu-like symptoms, including fever and headache, contact your local medical provider.

Nashua Mayor Donnalee Lozeau states, “I want to reassure the residents of Nashua to not be alarmed, and that we are monitoring the situation closely. We will continue with mosquito trapping and testing throughout the City to ensure we stay on top of this. I want to encourage everyone to follow the precautions from Public Health.”

City of Nashua’s Health Officer, Heidi Peek added “West Nile Virus has been seen in the city before, which is why we continue to work closely with DHHS to monitor the situation.”

As of July 30, the State Public Health Lab tested 455 mosquito batches, 4 animals, and 19 humans across the State for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and WNV. Anyone with questions about WNV/EEE can call 1-866-273-6453 between 8 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday. Also, Nashua residents can call the Nashua Environmental Health Department at 603-589-4530. Other information about EEE and West Nile virus are available on the DHHS website at www.dhhs.nh.gov and at the City of Nashua’s Division of Public Health and Community Services website at www.NashuaNH.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.

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 or oil of lemon eucalyptus 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 West Nile Virus Website at

www.dhhs.nh.gov .