First Human Case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis in New Hampshire

August 25, 2014

The New Hampshire Division of Public Health Services (NH DPHS) has identified a human case of neuroinvasive Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus (EEEv) in an adult who resides in Conway, NH. This individual became ill on August 13, 2014, and is believed to have acquired the illness in the Conway, NH, area and is currently hospitalized in critical condition.

The NH DHHS recommends the following:

1. Awareness of the first identified human infection with EEEv in New Hampshire in 2014.

  • Vigilance is needed during the summer months to consider mosquito-borne diseases, including West Nile virus (WNV) and EEEv in patients with compatible clinical features.

  • Laboratory testing may be arranged by calling 1-603-271-4496 during business hours or 1-800-852-3345, ext. 5300, after hours.

  • Forms and testing information are available at http://www.dhhs.state.nh.us/dphs/cdcs/arboviral/providers.htm.

2. Advise patients and residents to use preventive measures to avoid mosquito bites by using protective clothing, insect repellents, and reducing environmental mosquito populations.

3. Report suspected and confirmed cases of mosquito-borne diseases to the Bureau of Infectious Disease Control at 1-603-271-4496 (after hours, 1-800-852-3345, ext. 5300).

Epidemiology

To date, EEEv has been detected in 5 mosquito batches this year in the towns of Candia, Derry, and Londonderry. There is no routine surveillance for arboviruses in mosquitoes in the Conway area; however, deer and moose serosurveys confirm the presence of EEEv in all areas of NH including the most northern parts of the state. Prior to this case, the last human EEEv case in NH occurred in September 2009, with 11 additional cases occurring in 2004 (1 case), 2005 (7), and 2007 (3). Nationally, as of August 20, 2014, one other human EEE case has been reported from New York.

For additional information, please refer to previous Arboviral Update HANs: http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/alerts/han.htm.

If you or other health care providers have questions, please call the Bureau of Infectious Disease Control at 1-603-271-4496 or 1-800-852-3345, ext. 4496, during business hours (8:00 am to 4:30 am). On nights or weekends, call the New Hampshire Hospital switchboard at 1-800-852-3345, ext. 5300, and request the public health professional on call.

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