Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is announcing that 18 batches of mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV) recently from the towns of Manchester, Nashua, and Salem. This is in addition to the 8 batches that the City of Manchester Health Department already announced this season, bringing the total number of positive batches so far this year to 26. These findings have caused DPHS to raise the risk level for arboviral diseases in the greater Manchester, Nashua, and Salem areas.
WNV is transmitted from the bite of an infected mosquito. WNV was first identified in New Hampshire in August of 2000. The Public Health Lab has tested 1,621 mosquito batches, 2 animals, and 10 people so far this season. Last year, 9 mosquito batches tested positive for WNV in New Hampshire and there were no positives for Eastern Equine Encephalitis.
“While this is our first announcement of West Nile Virus positives in New Hampshire this season, we have been hearing of positive test results from some of our neighboring states already,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis. “As with every year, this should serve as a reminder to people to take steps to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes. 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 removing 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.
Anyone with questions about WNV/EEE can call 1-866-273-6453 between 8 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday. Other information about EEE and West Nile virus are available on the DHHS website at www.dhhs.nh.gov and on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov.