DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

Derry

August 30, 2012

Governor, DHHS declare public health threat from mosquitoes

(Continued)

“The number of WNV positive mosquito batches thus far in 2012 represents the highest number to test positive in New Hampshire in the last 10 years,” Toumpas wrote.

The declaration affects 45 municipalities, including Atkinson, Danville, Derry, Hampstead, Kingston, Londonderry, Newton, Pelham, Plaistow, Salem, Sandown and Windham.

Londonderry sprayed many of its fields, parks and playgrounds on Aug. 20 and Derry did the same this Monday.

It’s not the first time DHHS and the governor had made such a move. It’s happened several times since 2006, in response to West Nile and EEE.

“Such declarations have been critical in communicating the risk of disease and enabling the local governments to enact appropriate mosquito control activities,” Toumpas wrote to Lynch.

Dragon Mosquito Control of Stratham handles mosquito-thwarting efforts for 26 towns. Company owner Sarah MacGregor said earlier this month she’s never seen so many positive tests for West Nile this early in the year.

“Normally, the peak time is late August-early September,” Montero said. “But, in this particular year, everything is on the table because nobody can explain what is happening.”

It’s happening in Massachusetts, too.

A third human case of West Nile virus was confirmed in the Bay State Driday. Risk levels have been elevated to moderate and high in some communities.

Mosquito batches have tested positive for West Nile virus in 83 municipalities in nine counties so far. Massachusetts also has reported mosquitoes infected with EEE, with some towns’ threat levels for that disease at high or critical.

“These findings underscore the serious need to use personal protective measures at all times,” Department of Public Health Commissioner John Auerbach said in a prepared statement. “Use insect repellent, cover up exposed skin, and avoid outdoor activities at dusk and nighttime, when mosquitoes are at their most active.”

Montero, too, urges residents and visitors to take precautions, but not to avoid outdoor activity.

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