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New Hampshire

August 14, 2013

West Nile found in Stratham

STRATHAM (AP) — Health officials say the West Nile Virus has been detected in two mosquito pools in Stratham, making it at least the third community in the state this summer where the virus has surfaced.

Town Administrator Paul Deschaine, who shared the information at Monday’s Board of Selectman meeting, said the town will continue its normal mosquito control, but residents need to exercise caution, too, such as wearing long sleeves and bug spray.

Deschaine said there have been fewer opportunities to send out the sprayer due to frequent rain this season.

“Last year was much drier,” he said.

West Nile Virus was already discovered in Pelham in early August and in Sandown after state Health Department testing of mosquito pools.

West Nile virus is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. One person in New Hampshire became infected last year. Symptoms can include severe headache, high fever, stiff neck and muscle weakness.

Eastern Equine Ecephalitis, or EEE, also carried by mosquitoes, has not been found in New Hampshire yet this season.

State Public Health Director Jose Montero said he was not surprised that West Nile was found in New Hampshire, as it had already been detected in neighboring states.

“Unfortunately, it also means the threat has not abated so people need to make sure they take proper precautions to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes as we head into the high season for these two illnesses,” he said in a news release.

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