CONCORD – State health officials says the first positive test for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) this year was found in a batch of mosquitoes in Exeter.
The positive test for the virus is in addition to six batches of mosquitoes testing positive this year for West Nile Virus. Last year, there were 13 positives for EEE, including nine mosquito batches and four animals.
EEE and West Nile are transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. The finding does not change the low risk level in Exeter, according to a news release issued by the state Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
“This is the first identified positive for EEE in New Hampshire this season, but unfortunately it is not unexpected,” said Public Health Director Dr. Jose 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.”
West Nile symptoms appear four to 10 days after a bite and include fever and headache.
EEE is a more serious disease that carries a high mortality rate for those who contract the serious form of the illness. Symptoms may include high fever, severe headache, stiff neck and sore throat, and they usually occur four to 10 days after a mosquito bite.
For more information, visit the DHHS website at www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/arboviral/index.htm and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov.