PELHAM — A potentially deadly virus — Eastern Equine Encephalitis — was found in Pelham this week.
While no humans in Pelham have tested positive for the virus, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services identified batches of mosquitoes in town that test positive for EEE, according to Town Administrator Brian McCarthy.
Those infected with the virus appear to have flu-like symptoms, including fever, headache, weakness, and muscle and joint pains, according to health officials.
Symptoms show up 4 to 10 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito, according to health officials.
The virus can cause a more serious central nervous system infections such as meningitis or encephalitis — inflammation of the brain.
EEE is more serious than West Nile Virus and is deadlier for people who contract the serious encephalitic form of the illness, according to health officials. There is no specific treatment for the disease.
“Identification of the EEE virus in mosquitoes in New Hampshire is an important reminder that mosquito bites can transmit a number of potentially serious viral infections in our communities,” said Dr. Benjamin Chan, New Hampshire epidemiologist. “People need to take steps to prevent mosquito bites, including avoiding being outdoors at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active, wearing protective clothing, using an effective mosquito repellant on exposed skin, and removing standing water from around the home where mosquitoes reproduce.”
Individuals can eliminate standing water, which is where mosquitoes often breed, and protect yourself from mosquito bites, McCarthy said.
Town officials will spray town fields, parks and schools to reduce mosquitoes in the area, McCarthy said.
The town will be spraying on Thursday and Friday.
Thursday Muldoon Park, Raymond Park and Lodge, Mammoth Road soccer fields, Newcomb Field, Lyons Park and Village Green will be sprayed.
Friday after 6 p.m. Pelham Elementary School, Pelham Memorial School, Pelham High School and Veterans Memorial Park will be sprayed.