Boston - 3/27/08 - Health officials in Massachusetts and New Hampshire already are preparing to go on the attack this summer against mosquitoes that cause Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile virus, because of several localized cases in both states during the last three years.
During that period, EEE was found in several mosquito samples, particularly in southeastern New Hampshire and in Essex County, Mass. The illness affected eight persons in New Hampshire and 13 in Massachusetts during that period.
Both viruses also affect horses and birds, but usually not dogs and cats, says Jason Stull, New Hampshire's public-health veterinarian.
The Massachusetts Mosquito Control and Wetlands Management District that covers 31 communities north of Boston is setting and checking its traps for this summer.
New Hampshire, which tested 12,000 samples last summer, will try to focus more this year on the mosquito species that are the most likely transmitters, Stull says.
His state has earmarked $180,000, a third of it for mosquito surveillance and two-thirds to reimburse southeastern New Hampshire towns that adopt mosquito-control programs. They are especially urged to use methods aimed at killing larvae. Such programs usually start by early April.