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First 2013 case of West Nile Virus in NH confirmed in Chesterfield man

September 10. 2013 11:12AM

CONCORD – A Chesterfield man tested positive for West Nile Virus, the first case detected in a human this season, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services.

Health officials said the individual has recovered. Last year, there was one confirmed case of West Nile, which was first identified in New Hampshire in August 2000. Since then, nine people contracted the virus, including the Chesterfield man.

"Fortunately this individual has recovered from this infection," said New Hampshire Public Health Director Dr. Jose Montero, "but there is still a risk to New Hampshire residents. There is no way to know where exactly this individual was infected, so it is important that everyone remember the illness is present across the state and we should all be taking steps to prevent mosquito bites to ourselves and our loved ones."

So far this year, West Nile was detected in eight mosquito batches located in Kensington, Nashua, New Castle, Pelham, Sandown and Stratham.

Twelve batches this year have tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE).

West Nile is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. The risk to humans is low and in the majority of cases there are no symptoms, or just mild, flu-like symptoms which often appear four to 10 days after being bitten.

People over age 50 are considered to be at higher risk of becoming ill. Symptoms include severe headache, high fever, stiff neck, confusion, loss of consciousness and muscle weakness.

To protect yourself and your family, use effective mosquito repellent; wear long-sleeve shirts and pants at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active; remove standing water from around your home, and check doors and windows to ensure screens are in place and in good condition to prevent insects from entering.

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