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Conway adult tests positive for EEE

CONCORD — State health officials said an adult from Conway has tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis, also known as EEE, in the first confirmed human case of the disease in five years.

“This positive is at about the same time as the previous EEE patient identified in 2009,” state Public Health Director Dr. José Montero said in a statement. “There is no way to know where exactly this individual was infected, but we do know that both of these diseases (EEE and West Nile Virus) are present in New Hampshire so it is important that everyone remember to take steps to prevent mosquito bites to themselves and their loved ones.”

The Department of Health and Human Services also said four additional batches of mosquitoes, two apiece in Derry and Candia, tested positive, bringing the total of infected mosquito batches to five for this year. So far this year, there have been no positive West Nile Virus tests, the DHHS said in a release.

In 2013, there were 27 positives for EEE, including 24 mosquito batches and three animals. DHHS said the human infection will change the arboviral risk map for Conway to high and the surrounding municipalities of Chatham, Bartlett, Hales Location, Albany, Madison, and Eaton to moderate. The risk levels in Derry and Candia are moderate, the release said.

Symptoms of EEE disease often appear 4 to 10 days after being bitten. People are encouraged to contact a medical care provider if they begin experiencing flu-like symptoms, including fever and headache.

EEE is a more serious disease than West Nile Virus and carries a high mortality rate for those who contract the serious encephalitis form of the illness, the release said. Symptoms may include high fever, severe headache, stiff neck and sore throat. There is no specific treatment for the disease, which can lead to seizures and coma, the release said.

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