Saturday, September 22, 2012

EEE reaches region

By Jacqueline Palochko Sentinel Staff

FITZWILLIAM — Two emus in town have tested positive for eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), a serious disease transmitted by mosquitoes.
As a result, the risk level for EEE in Fitzwilliam has gone from remote to high, according to a news release Thursday from the N.H. Department of Health and Human Services.
The surrounding towns of Richmond, Troy, Jaffrey and Rindge have been elevated to moderate risk level for EEE.
The two emus, and a horse in Derry that also tested positive for the disease, are the first animals with EEE in the state.
There have been no positive tests for animals with West Nile virus, another mosquito-borne disease, according to the Health and Human Services department.

Symptoms in humans may include high fever, severe headache, stiff neck and sore throat. They usually occur four to 10 days after a mosquito bite. There is no treatment for the disease, which can lead to seizures and coma. There is a high mortality rate for those who contract the serious encephalitis form of the illness.

The N.H. Public Health Lab tested 4,018 batches of mosquitoes so far this season, according to the news release.

In 2009, state officials confirmed EEE in an emu in Alstead and an alpaca in Greenfield.

To prevent EEE and West Nile, the state agency advises people to remove standing water, old tires, tin cans, plastic containers and ceramic pots because mosquitoes breed in water.
When outside at night, Health and Human Services also recommends wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts. People should also use an insect repellent. The threat diminishes with the first frost.
For information and questions about EEE and West Nile virus: 1-866-273-6453 or visit
Jacqueline Palochko can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1409, or

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