EEE and WNV Detected in New Hampshire

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Division of Public Health Services announced Friday (Aug. 5) that it has confirmed the presence of West Nile virus (WNV) in a bird found in Pembroke, N.H. Lab results provided by the State Public Health Laboratories confirmed that a crow tested positive for the virus. This follows closely the positive results of two birds found to have Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) earlier in the week. One was a raven from Concord and the other was a crow from Manchester.
"This is a somewhat unusual development since we usually see West Nile about this time but rarely EEE in New Hampshire," said DHHS Commissioner John A. Stephen. "It is somewhat concerning since EEE recently re-emerged in the state and it can cause a much more serious illness in people than West Nile. I want to urge all citizens to take proper precautions against being bitten by mosquitoes to help protect their health."
"These are the first positive birds this year but there will be more," said Jose Montero, MD, MPH, state epidemiologist. "We are continuing with our EEE and West Nile surveillance and response plan this year and will be keeping an eye on the spread of these diseases. While people may be used to the presence of West Nile in New Hampshire, we have to keep in mind that EEE can be a much more serious disease, so prevention of both illnesses is crucial, especially for the elderly and those with weakened immune systems. The best preventive step is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes."
West Nile virus and EEE are transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird or other animal.
In New Hampshire, a total of 13 birds and 747 mosquito pools have been submitted and tested since this season's surveillance efforts began on June 1.  There have been no positive mosquito pools, horses, or humans so far this year.
"It is important not to become complacent about these viruses, but neither should people be overly alarmed," said Public Health Director Mary Ann Cooney, RN, MS. "We need to pay attention to these emerging illnesses and consistently and yearly practice proper precautions against being bitten by mosquitoes, including using insect repellent, avoiding being outside during dusk and dawn when possible, and eliminating standing water around our homes."
The season in New Hampshire runs from June through October. Citizens can report sightings of dead birds by calling the WNV/EEE information line at: 866/273-NILE (6453).
The information line is also available to assist with concerns and questions about WNV or EEE. Information can also be found at the NH Department of Health and Human Services' web site at:

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