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West Nile Virus a "Public Health Threat" in Southern N.H.

Centers for Disease Control
A batch of mosquitoes collected in Salem is the first in New Hampshire to test positive for West Nile virus this year.

The numbers of mosquitoes testing positive for West Nile Virus in southern New Hampshire is on the rise, prompting officials to issue a public health threat declaration for the region.

On Thursday, Governor Sununu and the Department of Health and Human Services announced that 30 municipalities in southern New Hampshire are at increased risk of West Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). 

The declaration expedites the permitting process for municipalities that want to spray. DHHS says it typically takes 60 days to process a request; now it should take only 10 days.

Some cities, including Manchester, have already sprayed this year

There are no human cases of WNV detected this season in New Hampshire, but some birds have tested positive, and Maine and Massachusetts have reported human cases.

The virus can be serious, but most people who get it have mild or no symptoms. DHHS provides resources on its website with a list of best practices for WNV and EEE prevention.

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