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EEE Claims Second Life In N.H.


State health officials say a New Hampshire resident has died from Eastern Equine Encephalitis, or EEE.

The Manchester resident was likely exposed to EEE in August, then passed away in September. This is the second EEE-related death and the third human case of EEE this year.

The virus spreads from birds to humans through mosquito bites. Symptoms come on like the flu, then in some people lead to encephalitis, or severe brain swelling.

Dr. Abigail Mathewson with the Department of Health and Human Services says people should keep in mind that mosquito-borne illnesses are a threat until the first hard frost hits - and to take precautions against bites.

Mathewson also encourages people to think ahead to the spring.

"It would be good before the snow hits to make sure that they’re pulling all those containers...in their yard so that when spring does come, they don’t have containers that are ready to go for mosquito breeding habitat," says Mathewson.

A Conway woman who contracted the virus also died last month. Prior to this year, there had not been a confirmed case of EEE in a person in New Hampshire since 2009.

Before joining NHPR in August 2014, Jack was a freelance writer and radio reporter. His work aired on NPR, BBC, Marketplace and 99% Invisible, and he wrote for the Christian Science Monitor and Northern Woodlands.

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