MANCHESTER — Mosquitoes infected with Eastern Equine Encephalitis were found in Manchester last week, according to the city health department.

EEE found in mosquito test batch in Pelham
Massachusetts confirms human case of EEE

Phil Alexakos, the chief operations officer of the Manchester Health Department, said the infected mosquitoes were found in two samples taken on Aug. 7.

The Manchester Health Department collects mosquitoes through the summer and fall, and sends those samples to the state Public Health Laboratories for testing every two days.

Alexakos said the city has since raised the EEE risk from low to moderate.

The health department alerted neighboring towns and elected officials to the risk, Alexakos said, because mosquitoes can fly for miles.

The city will receive its next batch of mosquito samples later this week, Alexakos said. If more are found to be infected with the virus, he said, the city will start spraying for mosquitoes.

The town of Pelham found mosquitoes infected with the virus earlier this week.

No people in New Hampshire have contracted the virus this year, but the state Department of Health and Human Services said it is possible. Since 2004, there have been 15 human infections of EEE confirmed in New Hampshire; the last human case of the virus was in 2014.

A man in southeastern Massachusetts has been infected with the virus, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced Saturday.

New Hampshire State Epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan advised staying inside at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active, and advised wearing long sleeves, long pants and insect repellent, and removing standing water from around the home.

EEE is one of three mosquito-transmitted diseases present in New Hampshire, according to DHHS; in addition to EEE, mosquitoes in the state also carry West Nile Virus and Jamestown Canyon virus.

EEE is typically more serious than West Nile Virus, according to DHHS. There is no specific treatment for the disease.

Symptoms appear four to 10 days after a mosquito bite. The virus presents itself as a flu-like illness, with fever, headache, weakness, and muscle and joint pains. The virus can also cause encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain — a condition that has a high mortality rate, according to DHHS.

Saturday, December 07, 2019
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