Derry to Spray Fields After EEE Infects Local Horse

A second spraying of town recreational fields, parks and public areas was scheduled to take place Wednesday, Sept. 18, after the Nutfield News went to press, after a horse infected with Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) was found in Derry.
Derry Health Officer Paul Raiche said the spraying by Dragon Mosquito Control was planned for the evening of Sept. 18.

The spraying was set for Barka School, Derry Village School, East Derry Memorial School, Grinnell School, Gilbert H. Hood Middle School, South Range School, West Running Brook Middle School, Alexander-Carr Park, Don Ball Park, MacGregor Park, Rider Fields, Veterans Field, Pinkerton Academy, and the Pinkerton Practice Field.
The fields were to be closed during spraying and would reopen at 5 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 19.
The insecticides Duet (prallethrin & sumithrin), and CrossCheck (bifenthrin) were to be used to control adult mosquitoes. No town-wide road spraying is scheduled. 
On Sept. 12, the state Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced that a positive test result had been found for a horse with Eastern Equine Encephalitis. A mosquito batch testing positive for EEE was found in Sandown, and a mosquito batch testing positive for West Nile Virus (WNV) was found in Hampstead.
Derry has been designated a “High Risk” area by DHHS and Sandown and Hampstead have been designated “Moderate Risk” areas.
Dr. Jose Montero, the staet’s public health director, said, “These results highlight the fact that these illnesses affect not just mosquitoes, but animals and of course people too. It is also an indication that mosquitoes do not respect borders, and as a result can infect animals and people in any corner of our state. This follows closely our identification of a person with West Nile Virus in Chesterfield, so I want to reiterate the importance of protecting against mosquito bites no matter where you live until there is a killing frost statewide.”
This season, New Hampshire’s Public Health Lab has tested 4,263 batches of mosquitoes. “Of those,” Montero wrote, “10 tested positive for WNV and 13 tested positive for EEE. One person was also diagnosed with WNV.”
The Derry horse with EEE is the first animal found positive for EEE this season.
EEE is defined by the state as “a rare but serious viral disease that is caused by a virus, transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito, with more severe symptoms than for WNV. Birds are the source of infection for mosquitoes, which can sometimes transmit the infection to horses, other animals and in rare instances, people.”
WNV is also passed from birds to humans.
“Preventing mosquito bites and reducing mosquito populations by mosquito control methods are important in reducing the transmission of EEE and WNV,” state officials said.
The precautions for humans are the “usual ones,” Raiche said. “Avoid going out from dusk to dawn, and if you do, wear long sleeves, long pants and/or mosquito spray.”
For more information on spraying, call Raiche or Garrett Simenson, coordinator of the Greater Derry Public Health Network, at 845-5519, or Dragon at or 734-4144.
For additional information regarding mosquito control and West Nile Virus, visit the Public Health Department webpage at: publichealth/MosquitoControl.
Whitney Howe, Vector-Borne Disease Surveillance Coordinator for DHHS, said she didn’t know when the horse contracted EEE, nor did she know if it was before or after the Aug. 30 spraying. “Spraying and trapping are town decisions – we don’t have information on that,” she said.
Howe said the infected horse was brought to DHHS’s attention when the agency received a specimen for testing from a local veterinarian who suspected EEE. “Veterinarians do that when they see sufficient risk,” she said. She said she was not allowed to release the name of the owner.
Howe explained the risk classification system. Raising a town to “high risk” status is standard when there is a known animal or human case. The surrounding towns are raised to “moderate” risk because EEE isn’t a localized issue – “Mosquitoes fly from town to town,” Howe said.
The risk categories are guidelines, Howe said. DHHS can’t make people put on long sleeves, stay indoors or stay away. Rather, the classifications suggest courses of actions. 
People in low- to moderate-risk areas are advised to dump standing water, clean their gutters and wear insect repellent; people in high risk areas are advised to avoid going out from dusk to dawn, avoid high mosquito areas, and wear long sleeves.

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.