Thursday, September 17, 2015

Health officials identify positive test result for West Nile Virus

The  New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)  is  announcing  that  a batch of mosquitoes has tested positive for West  Nile  Virus  (WNV)  recently from the city of Manchester. This is the first  mosquito  batch  found to be positive so far this year and the first positive  test result of the season. 

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 Public Health Lab has tested 3,048 mosquito batches, two animals, and 46 people so far this season for WNV and EEE.  There have been no positive tests for EEE yet this year.

Residents and visitors to New Hampshire should protect themselves and their family  members  by using an effective mosquito repellant 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 1-866-273-6453 between 8 AM to 4:30  PM,  Monday through Friday. More information about prevention can be found HERE.

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