State health officials say a second horse has tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in New Hampshire, this time in Francestown.
As a result, the Department of Health and Human Services has raised to “high” the risk level in that town for transmission of the viral infection to people from mosquitoes. The risk level in the surrounding towns of Bennington, Deering, Greenfield, Lyndeborough, New Boston and Weare will be increased to “moderate.”
Lisa Morris, director of the state Division of Public Health Services, said it’s critical for people to continue to use protective measures such as insect repellent until there’s a hard frost statewide. “We want everyone to enjoy outdoor activities while taking the appropriate steps to prevent mosquito bites that may cause serious and potentially fatal illnesses,” she said.
The first EEE case in a horse this year was identified on Aug. 28 in Northwood.
EEE, one of three mosquito-transmitted diseases present in New Hampshire, was first identified here in 2004. Since then, there have been 15 human infections identified in New Hampshire. The last time it was identified in humans here was in 2014, when there were three cases.
To protect yourself, DHHS recommends:
• Eliminate standing water and other mosquito breeding locations.
• Be aware of where mosquitoes live and breed, and prevent them from entering your home.
• Protect yourself from mosquito bites.