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October 17, 2012

Mosquito threat remains in New Hampshire

Temperature needs to drop lower to kill insects

(Continued)

It’s extremely rare for an animal with EEE to survive, MacGregor said.

Nine mosquito batches tested positive for EEE in the state this year, including Sandown, Newton and Danville, where infected mosquitoes were trapped on the grounds of Danville Elementary School on Sept. 27.

School Superintendent Earl Metzler ordered that students be kept inside during recess. The order was lifted Oct. 9 because of the reduced threat.

MacGregor said only a couple of mosquitoes a day were being caught in traps when the trapping ended late last week.

The nine EEE cases may seem like a lot, but not compared to the 73 batches of mosquitoes that tested positive in 2009, MacGregor said.

Then there was 2005, when seven humans contracted EEE, including two Newton residents. One, 20-year-old Kelly Labell, later died.

A Manchester man was the only person in New Hampshire to contract West Nile this year. No human cases of EEE were reported in the state.

In Massachusetts, an Amesbury woman with EEE died Sept. 24 and a Georgetown man with the virus died Sept. 27.

Although the first cases of infected mosquitoes are usually in August, the threat began early, MacGregor said.

“It was July when it started,” she said. “It certainly wears on people.”

MacGregor said she will be relieved when the threat ends. On many days, her staff has been working from 7 a.m. to nearly midnight.

“These people are definitely ready for a vacation,” she said.

But even after two hard freezes, people should be careful of mosquitoes hiding in enclosed spaces, such as barns or homes, MacGregor said.

Years ago, a horse contracted EEE just before Thanksgiving, she said.

“You would hope you’re done thinking about that and focusing on the holidays,” MacGregor said.

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