The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is announcing the third human case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) this season in an adult from Manchester who is thought to have been exposed at the end of August.

 National Atlas of the United States
National Atlas of the United States

Unfortunately, this individual passed away as a result of this illness in mid-September and is the third case and second death this season in New Hampshire from EEE. Testing for this individual was complicated and EEE was not confirmed until the patient had passed away. Other EEE positive tests this year include 2 animals, and 18 mosquito batches. The only positive for West Nile Virus this season was one mosquito batch.

“Our sympathies are with the family of this individual as they grieve the unfortunate death of their loved one,” said DHHS Public Health Director Dr. José Montero. “It is important that everyone in New Hampshire remember to continue to take steps in order to prevent mosquito bites to themselves and their loved ones until the season ends with a hard frost.”

Symptoms of EEE disease often appear 4 to 10 days after someone is bitten by an infected mosquito. If you or someone you know is experiencing flu-like symptoms, including fever and headache, contact your local medical provider. EEE is a more serious disease than WNV and carries a high mortality rate for those who contract the encephalitis form of the illness. Symptoms may include high fever, severe headache, stiff neck, and sore throat. There is no specific treatment for the disease, which can lead to seizures and coma.

You can protect yourself and your family from WNV and EEE with a few simple steps, such as using effective mosquito repellant, wearing long sleeves and pants at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active, removing standing water from around your house so mosquitoes do not have a place to breed, and by checking doors and windows to ensure screens are in place and in good condition to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home.