Press Releases

 

Entries in Public Health (79)

Saturday
Oct252014

NH DHHS - Deputy State Epidemiologist Contributes to the Global Ebola Control Effort 

CONCORD, N.H. – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

announced today that Dr. Elizabeth Talbot, Deputy State Epidemiologist,

will be going to Liberia at the end of next week.





Dr. Talbot, who is also a physician with the Geisel School of Medicine at

Dartmouth, will be in Liberia for four weeks and will play a leading role

in training clinical teams of physicians, nurses and other staff to conduct

Ebola control activities. She will work with International Medical Corps, a

non-governmental organization. Just as in New Hampshire, her primary goal

is to protect those on the frontline of the Ebola epidemic. Upon her return

to New Hampshire, her colleagues at the Division of Public Health Services

will conduct her post-arrival monitoring.





“We are very proud of Dr. Talbot,” said Dr. José T. Montero, Director of

the Division of Public Health Services. “She exemplifies the dedication of

the many public health and medical professionals and organizations working

to end this serious medical crisis in West Africa. She will take with her

our best wishes and we will await her return.”





“I am very proud of the preparedness work we are doing in New Hampshire,”

said Dr. Talbot. “The timing is right and I am grateful for this

opportunity to contribute to the effort.”

Saturday
Oct182014

NH DHHS - DHHS Identifies a Second Horse with Eastern Equine Encephalitis

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

(DHHS) is announcing that a horse from Sanbornton has been identified with

the Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus infection. This is the second

finding of EEE in a horse this year, though a mule was identified with EEE

in September. Eighteen mosquito batches have also tested positive for EEE.



The arboviral risk level for the town of Sanbornton will increase from low

to high. The surrounding towns of Laconia, Belmont, and Tilton will

increase from low to moderate, and the towns of New Hampton, Franklin,

Hill, and Meredith will increase from no data/baseline to moderate risk.



EEE is transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitos. It is important that

people continue to take precautions against mosquito bites, including

wearing an effective repellent, long pants and sleeves, ensuring screens

are in good repair and removing standing water from your property to

prevent mosquitoes from breeding, until there has been a killing frost

statewide.



“This is a sad reminder that we are not out of the woods yet as far as

mosquito diseases while the weather continues to stay moderate,” said Dr.

José Montero, Director of Public Health at DHHS. “Leaf season is a great

time to get outside but we urge residents and visitors to use an effective

repellent when doing so.”



Any horse that resides in or travels to New Hampshire during mosquito

season is at risk of becoming infected with EEE or West Nile Virus (WNV).

Because of this risk, it is recommended that horse owners consult with

their veterinarians to discuss appropriate vaccination schedules based on

their risk factors.



EEE is a more serious disease in people than WNV and carries a high

mortality rate for those who contract the serious encephalitis form of the

illness. Symptoms of EEE may include high fever, severe headache, stiff

neck, and sore throat. There is no treatment for the disease, which can in

some cases lead to seizures and coma. Symptoms usually occur 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.



For more information about EEE and West Nile Virus visit the DHHS website

at http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/arboviral/index.htm and the Centers for

Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov. For questions

contact the DHHS Bureau of Infectious Disease Control at 603-271-4496.



# # #



Prevention Guidelines for West Nile Virus and

Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus

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 Virus.

· 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

Virus, 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

Thursday
Oct162014

NH DHHS Announces Third Human Case of EEE This Season

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

(DHHS) is announcing the third human case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis

(EEE) this season in an adult from Manchester who is thought to have been

exposed at the end of August. Unfortunately, this individual passed away as

a result of this illness in mid-September and is the third case and second

death this season in New Hampshire from EEE. Testing for this individual

was complicated and EEE was not confirmed until the patient had passed

away. Other EEE positive tests this year include 2 animals, and 18

mosquito batches. The only positive for West Nile Virus this season was one

mosquito batch.



“Our sympathies are with the family of this individual as they grieve the

unfortunate death of their loved one,” said DHHS Public Health Director Dr.

José Montero. “It is important that everyone in New Hampshire remember to

continue to take steps in order to prevent mosquito bites to themselves and

their loved ones until the season ends with a hard frost.”



Symptoms of EEE disease often appear 4 to 10 days after someone is bitten

by an infected mosquito. If you or someone you know is experiencing

flu-like symptoms, including fever and headache, contact your local medical

provider. EEE is a more serious disease than WNV and carries a high

mortality rate for those who contract the encephalitis form of the illness.

Symptoms may include high fever, severe headache, stiff neck, and sore

throat. There is no specific treatment for the disease, which can lead to

seizures and coma.



You can protect yourself and your family from WNV and EEE 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, removing standing

water from around your house so mosquitoes do not have a place to breed,

and by checking doors and windows to ensure screens are in place and in

good condition to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home.



For more information about EEE and West Nile Virus visit the DHHS website

at http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/arboviral/index.htm and the Centers for

Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov. For questions

contact the DHHS Bureau of Infectious Disease Control at 603-271-4496.

Tuesday
Oct072014

NH DHHS - DHHS Identifies a Horse with Eastern Equine Encephalitis

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

(DHHS) is announcing that a horse from Nottingham has been identified with

the Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus (EEE) infection. This is the first

finding of EEE in a horse this year, though a mule was identified with EEE

in September. The arboviral risk level for the town of Nottingham will

increase from low to high. The surrounding towns of Northwood, Barrington,

Lee, and Epping will increase to moderate. Surrounding towns of Deerfield

and Raymond will remain at moderate.



So far in 2014, 18 mosquito batches, 2 animals, and 2 humans have tested

positive for EEE. There has also been one positive mosquito batch

identified for West Nile Virus (WNV) this season. EEE and WNV are

transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitos. It is important that people

continue to take precautions against mosquito bites including wearing an

effective repellent, long pants and sleeves, ensuring screens are in good

repair and removing standing water from your property to prevent mosquitoes

from breeding.



“This unfortunate finding reinforces the need for residents and visitors of

New Hampshire to continue to use an effective repellent when enjoying the

beautiful outdoors until we have had a killing frost across the State,”

said State Epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan.



Any horse that resides in or travels to New Hampshire during mosquito

season is at risk of becoming infected with EEE or WNV. Because of this

risk, it is recommended that horse owners consult with their veterinarians

to discuss appropriate vaccination schedules based on their risk factors.



EEE is a more serious disease in people than WNV and carries a high

mortality rate for those who contract the serious encephalitis form of the

illness. Symptoms of EEE may include high fever, severe headache, stiff

neck, and sore throat. There is no treatment for the disease, which can in

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

after being bitten. Symptoms of WNV disease also often appear 4 to 10 days

after being bitten by an infected mosquito. If you or someone you know is

experiencing flu-like symptoms, including fever and headache, contact your

local medical provider.



For more information about EEE and West Nile Virus visit the DHHS website

at http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/arboviral/index.htm and the Centers for

Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov . For questions

contact the DHHS Bureau of Infectious Disease Control at 603-271-4496.



# # #

(See attached file: Prevention Guidelines for WNV and EEE.doc

Saturday
Sep272014

NH DHHS - Enterovirus-D68 Identified in New Hampshire

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

(DHHS) is confirming the first cases in the State of Enterovirus-D68

(EV-D6), a respiratory virus that is spreading across the United States.

Two children from Hillsborough County have been identified as having the

virus. They were briefly hospitalized but have since been discharged

without reported complications. The confirmatory results came from the New

York State Department of Health Labs today. DHHS continues to monitor the

situation and is offering assistance to healthcare providers and hospitals

in testing for the virus if needed.



Approximately 40 states have now reported cases of EV-D68 which mainly is

affecting children. The illness appears to be causing a respiratory illness

including difficulty breathing and wheezing. Some patients, but not all,

also have a fever. Those with a history of asthma or wheezing may be at an

increased risk for complications requiring hospitalization.



“This is a concerning finding but unfortunately not an unexpected one,”

said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health at DHHS. “We have been

watching out for the arrival of EV-D68 and doing testing and will continue

to monitor for it closely. People who have asthma, especially children, are

encouraged to be vigilant in taking their asthma controlling medications.”



There are many types of Enteroviruses, and EV-D68 is one strain that has

not been commonly reported previously. Most people infected with an

Enterovirus experience no or few symptoms. There is no vaccine to prevent

EV-D68 infections and the treatment is supportive. Those with a history of

asthma or wheezing should take any prescribed medications as instructed and

closely follow their asthma action plan. New Hampshire residents can help

protect themselves from respiratory illnesses by:

· Washing hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.

· Avoiding touching their eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

· Avoiding kissing, hugging, and sharing cups and eating utensils with

people who are sick.

· Disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs,

especially if someone is sick.

· Stay home from school and work if you are ill to avoid infecting

others.



For more information about EV-D68, visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov  or

the DHHS website at www.dhhs.nh.gov .