New Hampshire authorities issued a public health threat declaration for the southern part of the state for a pair of mosquito-borne diseases.
Republican Gov. Christopher Sununu and the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services said the declaration’s out for West Nile virus and Eastern equine encephalitis. The move makes it easier for about 30 municipalities in the area to take mosquito population control measures.
But you don’t have to wait for your community to take care of the problem. There are several steps you can take around your own home to keep mosquitoes away.
- Repellent: The CDC suggests using an EPA-registered insect repellent that contains Deet, Picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD) or 2-undecanone.
- Cover up: The CDC suggests wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
- Keep them outside: CDC says to keep the mosquitoes outside by using air conditioning or window and door screens.
- Drain the water: Get rid of puddles and other areas of standing water around your home. These serve as breeding grounds for the insects.
- Trim the vegetation: Long grass, weeds and bushes are home for adult mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes have been a bigger pain than usual in New Hampshire this year. The state says this season has had the highest number of mosquito batches testing positive for West Nile virus of the past five years.
The state says the declaration is due partially to the 16 mosquito batches that have tested positive for West Nile in the state since early July.
West Nile can produce a fever, head and body aches, skin rash and swollen lymph nodes, though sometimes people show no symptoms. EEE is rarer but much more dangerous, potentially causing brain damage or death.
The communities included in the declaration are Amherst, Atkinson, Auburn, Bedford, Brentwood, Candia, Chester, Danville, Derry, Epping, Fremont, Goffstown, Hampstead, Hollis, Hooksett, Hudson, Kingston, Litchfield, Londonderry, Manchester, Merrimack, Nashua, Newton, Pelham, Plaistow, Raymond, Salem, Sandown and Windham.
No humans in New Hampshire have tested positive in 2018 for West Nile Virus or EEE. In 2017, one person in the Granite State tested positive for West Nile Virus, three tested positive for Jamestown Canyon virus and one person tested positive for the Powassan virus.