The Town of Londonderry Health Division announced that a batch of mosquitoes collected in Londonderry has tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). The mosquito species, Culiseta melanura, is the primary vector of EEE and mainly bites birds but will occasionally, although rarely, bite mammals including humans.
The news of mosquitoes carrying EEE in Londonderry is not unexpected at this time of year. The Town of Londonderry wants to reassure the residents that they are monitoring the situation closely. They will continue with weekly mosquito trapping and testing throughout the Town to ensure they stay on top of this. Mosquito breeding sites are monitored regularly and treated as needed. Residents should use utmost caution regarding exposure to mosquitoes. Given the continued low risk to the public and the Old Home Celebrations this past weekend, the Town will be conducting a spray of the area beginning this week. In the meantime, residents are encouraged to utilize the precautionary measures outlined below.
EEE is transmitted through the bite of an infected moquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. There is no risk for people being around horses. If a mosquito bites a horse or a human, it cannot transmit the disease to another human. The risk of contracting the infection is low. If illness does occur, it happens within 4 to 10 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. If someone is experiencing flu-like symptoms including fever and headache, they should contact their local medical provider.
The Town would like to remind the residents of Londonderry to continue to take steps to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes and to eliminate standing water on their property. With all the recent rain, it is imperative that mosquito breeding areas are eliminated to help reduce the risk.
You can protect yourself and your family with a few simple steps:
- Reduce outdoor activity between 3 PM and 8 AM.
- Use mosquito repellent containing DEET or Picaridin.
- Wear long sleeves and pants.
- Check around your home for standing water and remove it.
- Ensure window and door screens fit properly so that mosquitoes cannot enter your home.
The risk of contracting EEE or West Nile Virus does not end until two hard frosts. In this part of the State that may not occur until after Halloween. There is still a significant amount of time before that happens. Residents must take personal precautions to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes.
If you need more information about mosquitoes, EEE or West Nile Virus contact Dragon Mosquito Control at 734-4144 or email info(at)dragonmosquito.com.