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DHHS Identifies First Positive Test Results of the Year for Eastern Equine Encephalitis
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Public Information Office
(603) 271-9388

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Publish Date:
August 19, 2013

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is announcing that one batch of mosquitoes in Exeter tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). This is the first finding of EEE in the State this year. This is in addition to the 6 batches of mosquitoes that have tested positive for West Nile Virus so far this season in New Hampshire. In 2012, there were 13 positives for EEE, including 9 mosquito batches and 4 animals.

EEE and WNV are transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. This finding does not change the low risk level in Exeter.

“This is the first identified positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis in New Hampshire this season, but unfortunately it is not unexpected,” said Public Health Director Dr. José Montero. “These two viruses tend to appear in waves and some years there are more positives than others so we don’t really know what the rest of the season has in store. This is all the more reason why people should take precautions against being bitten by mosquitoes.”

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. EEE is a more 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.

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

1. NH Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health Services

  • 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, para-menthane-diol 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 1-866–273–NILE (6543), or visit the West Nile Virus Website at www.dhhs.nh.gov.

 

 
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New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
129 Pleasant Street | Concord, NH | 03301-3852


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