NH DHHS - Mosquito Season Has Begun and New Hampshire Residents Are Encouraged to Take Precautions against Diseases

Concord, NH - The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

(DHHS) Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) is encouraging residents

and visitors to the State to take precautions against mosquito bites this

season to prevent West Nile Virus (WNV), Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE),

and other mosquito-borne diseases. Mosquitoes are already out and the most

likely time for them to spread disease is June through September.

During the 2013 season, 24 batches of mosquitoes tested positive for EEE

and 14 batches tested positive for WNV. Three horses tested positive for

EEE and one for WNV. There was also a human case of WNV but no EEE cases.

“Though the numbers of human infections for West Nile Virus and EEE have

been low for the past couple of years, unfortunately we can never predict

from year to year how prevalent these diseases are going to be,” said Dr.

José Montero, Director of Public Health at DHHS. “The weather from year to

year plays a role, but it is important that residents take the appropriate

precautions every year, most importantly using an insect repellent, to

avoid becoming infected by one of these diseases.”

Eastern Equine Encephalitis and West Nile Virus are transmitted through the

bite of an infected mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an

infected bird. 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, and a sore throat. A

stiff neck is also a symptom of the severe form of the disease, which can

lead to seizures and coma. Symptoms usually occur 4 to 10 days after

someone is bitten.

For individuals who are bitten by a mosquito carrying West Nile Virus, the

risk of contracting the infection is low and, in the overwhelming majority

of cases, there are no symptoms or just mild, flu-like symptoms. At times,

West Nile Virus can cause meningitis and can be a serious threat to

seniors, young children, and those with compromised immune systems. If

illness does occur, it typically happens within 3 to 15 days after being

bitten by an infected mosquito.

Precautionary steps everyone should take to prevent being bitten by

mosquitoes include:

· Using an insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon

eucalyptus, or IR3535 against mosquitoes

· Wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants when outdoors when mosquitoes

are biting

· Make sure to remove standing water around your home where mosquitoes

can breed, such as in tires, flower pots, or pool covers

· Make sure screens on windows and doors fit tightly and do not have


· Monitor yourself if you are bitten by mosquitoes and tell your

healthcare provider if you develop any symptoms of WNV or EEE

For more information about WNV, EEE, or other mosquito-borne diseases,

visit the DHHS website at www.dhhs.nh.gov , the Centers for Disease Control

and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov , or call the DHHS Bureau of

Infectious Disease Control at 1-800-852-3345 x4496.