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West Nile Virus declared a public health threat in NH

Mosquito (MGN)

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP/WGME) -- New Hampshire authorities are issuing a public health threat declaration for the southern part of the state for a pair of mosquito-borne diseases.

Republican Gov. Christopher Sununu and the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services say the declaration's out for West Nile virus and Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE).

The move makes it easier for about 30 municipalities in the area to take mosquito population control measures.

Mosquitoes have been a bigger pain than usual in New Hampshire this year.

The state says this season has had the highest number of mosquito batches testing positive for West Nile virus of the past five years.

The state says the declaration is due partially to the 16 mosquito batches that have tested positive for West Nile in the state since early July.

West Nile virus and EEE, are arboviruses that are transmitted from the bite of an infected mosquito. 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 West Nile virus usually appear within a week after a person is 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 West Nile virus 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.

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