PRESS RELEASE CONTACT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Public Information Office
September 16, 2016 603-271-9290
DHHS Identifies Positive Test Result for West Nile Virus: First
Positive Mosquito Batch of the Season
Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is announcing that a batch of mosquitoes from the city of Nashua has recently tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV). This is the first mosquito batch found to be positive for a mosquito-borne disease in 2016. There have been no human or animal cases of mosquito-borne disease so far this season in New Hampshire.
WNV, along with Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), are arboviruses that are transmitted from the bite of an infected mosquito. WNV was first identified in New Hampshire in August of 2000. The NH Public Health Lab has tested 1,373 mosquito batches, 6 animals, and 30 people so far this season for WNV and EEE. There have been no positive tests for EEE yet this year. Last year, three mosquito batches tested positive for WNV in New Hampshire and there were two positive batches for EEE. One animal tested positive for WNV last year but there were no EEE positive animals. No humans tested positive for WNV or EEE last year.
“This is the first positive mosquito test result in New Hampshire this season,” said NH State Epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan, “New Hampshire residents and visitors should take precautions to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes as we head into the fall, the most risky time of year for mosquito-borne illnesses such as WNV and EEE.”
Residents and visitors to New Hampshire should protect themselves and their family members by using an effective mosquito repellent that contains 30% DEET, wearing long sleeves and pants at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active, and removing standing water from around your home so mosquitoes do not have a place to breed. Repellents with picaridin, IR3535 and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products also provide protection against mosquito bites. Symptoms of the WNV usually appear within a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito, although many people can be infected and not develop any symptoms, or only develop very mild symptoms.
Symptoms can include flu-like illness including fever, muscle aches, headaches, and fatigue. A very small percentage of individuals infected with WNV can go on to develop more serious central nervous system disease, including meningitis or encephalitis. If you or someone you know is experiencing flu-like symptoms, including fever and headache, contact your local medical provider.
Anyone with questions about WNV/EEE can call the New Hampshire Bureau if Infectious Disease Control at 603-271-4496. Other information about EEE and West Nile virus are available on the DHHS website and on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.