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Mosquitoes in Newton, Sandown test positive for EEE, officials say

New Hampshire Union Leader

September 25. 2018 9:44AM
State health officials have tested 4,135 batches of mosquitoes for both EEE and West Nile Virus, two have tested positive for EEE and 29 have tested positive for West Nile. (Fotolia)

CONCORD — State health officials say the first batches of mosquitoes in the state to test positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) this year have been identified in Newton and Sandown.

EEE was first identified in New Hampshire in August of 2004.

State health officials have tested 4,135 batches of mosquitoes, 11 animals and 18 people this year for both EEE and West Nile Virus (WNV). Thus far — in addition to the two positive EEE mosquito batches in Newton and Sandown — 29 mosquito batches in New Hampshire have tested positive for WNV.

“These detections of EEE in mosquitoes serve as a reminder for the need to protect oneself against mosquito bites to prevent EEE and other mosquito-borne diseases,” said state epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan in a statement. “Even with the cooler weather, there are still mosquitoes that are out and biting. The most effective ways to prevent mosquito bites are to use an effective mosquito repellent that contains 30 percent DEET, avoid being outdoors at dawn and dusk, and remove standing water from around the home where mosquitoes reproduce.”

According to state health officials, symptoms of EEE often appear 4 to 10 days after someone is bitten by a mosquito carrying the virus. People who get sick from EEE can develop a flu-like illness, including fever, headache, weakness, and muscle and joint pains. EEE can also cause a more serious central nervous system infection such as meningitis or encephalitis (inflammation of the brain).

Anyone with questions about mosquito-borne diseases, including EEE, can call the New Hampshire Bureau of Infectious Disease Control at 271-4496.

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