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October 08. 2013 4:42PM

Deerfield horse tests positive for EEE

CONCORD — A horse in Deerfield has tested positive for eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), according to state health officials.

“This finding necessitates increasing the risk level in Deerfield from ‘Remote’ to ‘High,’” said a statement from the state Department of Health and Human Services.

“Towns surrounding Deerfield, including Northwood, Nottingham, Candia, Raymond, Epsom, Allenstown and Hooksett will be raised to ‘Moderate,’” the statement said.

“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, the state’s public health lab has tested 5,121 batches of mosquitoes. Of those, 14 have tested positive for West Nile Virus and 20 tested positive for EEE. One person also was diagnosed with West Nile Virus, and two other horses were found positive for EEE earlier in the season. There have been no positive tests for animals with West Nile.

According to state officials, 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 four to 10 days after being bitten. Symptoms of West Nile Virus often appear four 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.


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