New Positives Leads to Increase in Public Risk
Concord, NH - The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
(DHHS) today announces positive test results for eastern equine
encephalitis (EEE) in two emus in the Cheshire County town of Fitzwilliam
and in a horse in the Hillsborough County town of Derry. These findings
necessitate the elevation of the risk level in those communities from
“remote” to “high.” The risk level for surrounding towns will also be
elevated on the risk map to “moderate.” In addition the towns of Seabrook,
South Hampton, and Newton have all had their risk level elevated to
moderate following the identification of a person in the northeastern part
of Massachusetts with EEE.
“These results highlight the fact that these illnesses affect not just
mosquitoes, but animals and of course people too,” said NH’s Public Health
Director Dr. José Montero. “It is also an indication that mosquitoes do
not respect borders, and as a result can infect animals and people in any
corner of our State. We know this has been a particularly bad season for
both EEE and West Nile Virus (WNV). In fact, in our bordering states there
have been several deaths reported as a result of EEE.”
So far this season NH’s Public Health Lab has tested 4,018 batches of
mosquitoes. Of those, 40 have tested positive for WNV, 3 tested positive
for EEE. One person was also diagnosed with WNV. The test results being
announced today are the first animals found positive for EEE and there have
been no positive tests for animals with WNV.
“We want people to remember that until we have a Statewide hard frost,
there is still a risk of contracting these illnesses from mosquito bites.
We advise people to take appropriate measures to prevent being bitten,”
EEE is a serious disease that carries a high mortality rate for those who
contract the serious encephalitis form of the illness. Symptoms may include
high fever, severe headache, stiff neck, and sore throat. There is no
treatment for the disease, which can lead to seizures and coma. Symptoms
usually occur 4 to 10 days after being bitten. Symptoms of WNV 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.
Questions about EEE and WNV can be answered by calling the toll free
EEE/West Nile Virus information line at 1-866-273-6453. You can also find
extensive information about both diseases on our website 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
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
Turn over plastic wading pools when not in use.
Remind or help neighbors to eliminate breeding sites on their
2. Be aware of where mosquitoes live and breed and keep them from entering
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,
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
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
See attached file: RiskMap_September_20_12.pdf