Fields Sprayed After Positive West Nile Virus Mosquitoes Found

HAMPSTEAD – Hampstead town fields and school areas were to be sprayed against mosquitoes Tuesday evening, Sept. 17, from 5 to 9 p.m., after the Tri-Town Times went to press.
Hampstead Health Officer Kris Emerson posted the intention of Hampstead’s mosquito control vendor, Dragon Mosquito Control, Inc., to spray, following the recent discovery of a positive West Nile Virus (WNV) mosquito pool at Holiday Lane, and findings of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in neighboring Derry and Sandown.

“The Town of Hampstead will be spraying the schools and ball fields,” Emerson said. The spraying was to be conducted by Dragon Mosquito of Brentwood to control adult mosquitoes. The spraying was slated to take place at Hampstead Middle and Central schools, Depot Road fields, Holiday Lane fields, Meeting House Field, and Woodland Pond Field.
According to Dragon, the insecticide CrossCheck (bifenthrin 7.9 percent) would be used to control adult mosquitoes. No town-wide road spraying is scheduled.
A recent press release from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), distributed by Garrett Simonsen, coordinator of the Greater Derry Public Health Network, stated, “DHHS announced the finding of a positive test result for eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) in a horse from Derry as well as a mosquito batch in Sandown and a mosquito batch positive for West Nile virus in Hampstead. These findings necessitate the elevation of the risk level in Derry to ‘High.’ Towns surrounding Derry will be raised to a ‘Moderate’ risk level.”
“These results highlight the fact that these illnesses affect not just mosquitoes, but animals and of course people too,” said Dr. José Montero, Public Health Director at DHHS. “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.”
So far this season New Hampshire’s Public Health Lab has tested 4,263 batches of mosquitoes. Of those, 10 have tested positive for WNV and 13 for EEE. One person was also diagnosed with WNV. The latest test results include the first animal found positive for EEE this season; there have been no positive tests for animals with WNV as of press time.
EEE carries a high mortality rate for those who contract the serious encephalitis form of the illness. Symptoms may include high fever, severe headache, and stiff neck. There is no treatment for the disease, which can lead to seizures and coma. Symptoms usually occur four to 10 days after being bitten.
Symptoms of WNV disease often appear four to 10 days after being bitten and include flu-like symptoms, such as fever and headache. Those with symptoms are encouraged to contact a medical provider.
Questions about EEE and WNV can be answered by calling the toll free EEE/ West Nile Virus information line at 1-866-273-6453 or visiting www.dhhs.nh.gov.
For more information on the Hampstead spraying, contact Emerson at 329-4100, ext. 4, or Dragon at 734-4144 or info@dragonmosquito.com.

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