October 8, 2013
Concord, NH - The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) today announces a positive test result for eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) in a horse from Deerfield. This finding necessitates increasing the risk level in Deerfield from “Remote” to “High.” Towns surrounding Deerfield, including Northwood, Nottingham, Candia, Raymond, Epsom, Allenstown and Hooksett will be raised to “Moderate.”
“Even though it is October,” said Dr. José Montero, Public Health Director at DHHS, “there are still mosquitoes around and therefore the risk for more cases of EEE and West Nile virus. Until there is a killing frost that covers the entire State it is important that people protect against mosquito bites no matter where you live.”
So far this season New Hampshire’s Public Health Lab has tested 5,121 batches of mosquitoes. Of those, 14 have tested positive for WNV and 20 tested positive for EEE. One person was also diagnosed with WNV, and two other horses were found positive for EEE earlier in the season. There have been no positive tests for animals with WNV.
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 stiff neck. 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/dphs/cdcs/arboviral/index.htm.