First Locally Transmitted Chikungunya Cases Identified in United States Last Week

The Asian Tiger is one of the mosquitoes that spreads Chikungunya virus.

The Asian Tiger is one of the mosquitoes that spreads Chikungunya virus.

Just last week, we posted about Chikungunya virus coming to New Hampshire through infected travelers. It would appear our post was right on time. Last week, on July 17th, the Florida Department of Health announced that state’s first confirmed cases of locally transmitted Chikungunya virus. This means that the persons who contracted the disease had not recently traveled outside of the country. The CDC announced this information that same day. As experts have predicted, Chikungunya virus is now in the continental United States. A mosquito-borne illness, the disease is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, and the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) resides in Southern New Hampshire.

 

While Chikungunya virus is still many miles away, it is important to know its symptoms, so it can be correctly identified. Symptoms typically present themselves 3-7 days after a person is bitten, and the most common are fever and joint pain. Other symptoms include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, and rash. Very young children, the elderly, and individuals suffering from other health conditions are most at risk of developing severe manifestations of the disease. Fortunately, death from Chikungunya virus is rare, but the disease is painful and debilitating. Blood tests are used to diagnose Chikungunya. While there is no cure, the disease typically runs its course in one week, though some continue to experience joint pain for longer periods of time. Treatment includes rest, plenty of fluids, and over the counter pain medication to manage joint pain.

 

keep calm and call the squadOf course, no one wants to get sick. To prevent colds, we wash our hands often and stay away from those who are infected. Chikungunya is not transmitted through person-to-person contact. Being bitten by an infected mosquito is the only way to contract the virus, so let’s all avoid mosquito bites. Wear light colored clothing when outdoors and use a mosquito repellent. To reduce the mosquito population on your property, rid the area of standing water – dump it out when you see it and be sure your property is draining.

 

Mosquito Squad of SONH

The team at Mosquito Squad of SoNH

And finally, contact Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire at (603) 373 – 8863. We are mosquito-elimination experts, and our approach to mosquito control is strategic and effective. You can expect to see up to a 90% reduction in the mosquito population once we have visited. Our sprays are registered with the EPA and handled by trained professionals. Let us help keep your family safe from all mosquito-borne diseases, including the recently arrived Chikungunya virus.

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Chikungunya Virus Arrives in New Hampshire

Travelers have brought Chikungunya virus back from the Caribbean.

Travelers have brought Chikungunya virus back from the Caribbean.

About a month ago, we posted about Chikungunya virus and its arrival in the Western Hemisphere. At the time, the CDC was concerned about travelers bringing the virus back from vacations in the Caribbean, and they still are. Within the past few weeks, the CDC’s predictions have begun to be realized. The Nashua Patch has reported that Chikungunya cases have now been identified here in New Hampshire. New Hampshire residents are much more likely to vacation in the Caribbean rather than the other areas of the world in which Chikungunya outbreaks have occurred. These first cases are the result of travelers being infected overseas.

 

So what do we have to worry about? Immediately, there is little cause for concern. However, as the number of imported cases rises, it becomes more likely that mosquitoes will bite an infected person and subsequently transmit it to a healthy individual. This is typically the way mosquito-borne diseases move into new areas. 2014 has already brought more Chikungunya cases within the United States than have ever been seen before. As of July 8th, the CDC has confirmed 138 cases within the continental US. In the past, only about 28 cases were confirmed here each year. As the number of Chikungunya cases increases, so does the need for vigilance.

 

dread blog

Protect your family from mosquito-borne diseases by eliminating mosquitoes in your yard.

If you are traveling to the Caribbean for vacation this season, be sure to protect yourself and your family by wearing mosquito repellent and light colored clothing and ensuring that mosquitoes are unable to enter your sleeping quarters. Not only will you decrease your risk of getting sick, you will also decrease the risk of sharing Chikungunya in your neighborhood once you return. At home, we should simply control the mosquito population by eliminating standing water on our properties and by treating our yards for mosquitoes. Here, Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire can help. Our barrier sprays are applied to the vegetation, which is a mosquito food source, in your yard. They last for 21 days, and even if it rains, they are a highly effective way of eliminating mosquitoes and continuing to repel them. We also offer organic options and mosquito misting systems.

 

Mosquito Squad of SONH

The team at Mosquito Squad of SoNH

So call Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire today at (603) 373 – 8863 to get control over the mosquito population on your property. The best way to prevent mosquito-borne diseases, like Chikungunya, is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes in the first place. We can help.

Chikungunya Virus Is Making News in Southern New Hampshire

Mosquitoes carry a wide range of diseases, including Chikungunya virus.

Mosquitoes carry a wide range of diseases, including Chikungunya virus.

When we think about mosquito-borne illnesses, West Nile Virus is the one that comes to mind, but unfortunately, mosquitoes are vectors for many diseases. Recently, Chikungunya virus, a flu-like disease transmitted by mosquitoes that includes rash and joint swelling, has been receiving more media attention than in the past. It even made last Saturday’s broadcast of Good Morning America. Why? Because for the first time, outbreaks are occurring very close to the United States. In previous years, few people in Southern New Hampshire would ever be exposed to Chikungunya. It was found primarily in Africa, Asia, and India, and only those traveling to such areas of the world were at risk of contracting the virus. However, in December 2013, an outbreak occurred in the Caribbean, bringing the virus very close home. While there have still been no outbreaks in the United States to date, more cases are occurring stateside because the Caribbean countries are popular travel destinations for more US citizens.

 

So what does this all mean? If your travel plans are within the United States, you probably won’t be exposed to Chikungunya virus this year. However with the disease so close by, it really is only a matter of time before the virus spreads into our country. According to the CDC, “[w]ith the recent outbreaks in the Caribbean and the Pacific, the number of chikungunya cases among travelers visiting or returning to the United States from affected areas will likely increase. These imported cases could result in local spread of the virus in the continental United States” (Source).

 

Eliminate standing water on your property to help reduce the mosquito population.

Eliminate standing water on your property to help reduce the mosquito population.

Chikungunya is just one more disease in the mosquito-borne arsenal, so it is important to minimize your exposure to mosquitoes in order to prevent these diseases. You can do this by making your property less appealing to them. Remember that mosquitoes love standing water. They need it to breed and multiply, so do not let it accumulate in your yard. Be sure to turn over any outdoor items that could collect rainwater, and if it does collect in a toy, bucket, or other item, get rid of the water as soon as possible. The longer water is undisturbed, the more likely it is to attract mosquitoes. You can also treat your property to eliminate mosquitoes and repel new ones that are searching for a home. Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire specializes in ridding you of these pests. Our highly effective barrier sprays can eliminate up to 90% of the mosquitoes in your yard and are effective for up to 21 days. When clients schedule with us, we include all sprays for the season, so they have continuous control all summer long. Our pricing also includes the entire mosquito season.

 

Mosquito Squad of SONH

The team at Mosquito Squad of SoNH

Don’t let a mosquito-born illness ruin your summer, and when Chikungunya virus does finally break out in our area, be ready. Contact Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire today (603) 373 – 8863 • email: sonh@mosquitosquad.com. We are in the business of protecting you and your family from the annoyance and pain of mosquito bites and from the more serious illnesses that can result.

Combat the Growing Tick Population in Southern New Hampshire

Despite a cold winter, the tick population is increasing.

Despite a cold winter, the tick population is increasing.

If you haven’t started thinking about tick prevention, now is a great time to do so. New Hampshire station WMUR Channel 9 reported this past week that tick populations may be on the rise. This conclusion is based on information from state entomologists and the CDC. Anytime the tick population increases, there is an increased risk for contractinga tick-borne disease. Such diseases include Lyme disease, babessiosis, and anaplasmosis. To many, an increase in the tick population may seem a little far-fetched since this past winter was so harsh, but it really isn’t.

 

Ticks are actually quite adept at surviving even brutal winter conditions. They can even remain active throughout winter if the ground is not frozen. Of course, our New Hampshire ground was plenty frozen this past winter, but that doesn’t necessarily kill them. Dr. Thomas Mather from the Department of Plant Sciences and Entomology at the University of Rhode Island illustrated on TickEncounter.org (an education project based at this university) that deer ticks can even survive underneath a blanket of snow. Typically, in very frigid conditions, ticks hibernate like bears. They may take shelter in rotten logs or underneath fallen trees to help them survive until spring.

 

Reduce your risk of tick-borne disease by eliminating ticks in your yard.

Reduce your risk of tick-borne disease by eliminating ticks in your yard.

With an even greater tick population in the forecast this season, it is time to start taking precautions to protect yourself, your family, and your pets from tick bites and the diseases they carry. Vigilance is always the best defense against ticks. Be sure that you check yourself, your kids, and your pets regularly, especially after time spent in wooded or grassy areas. Remove any attached ticks promptly because the longer a tick is attached the more likely it is to transmit a disease if it is infected. Use tick repellents during outdoor activity, especially on your shoes. And be sure to treat your yard for ticks. Most of the time you and your family spend outdoor will be in your own yard, so reduce the number of ticks in that environment by calling Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire. Our two-step tick treatment program is extremely effective at eliminating ticks because it targets them two different ways – barrier spray and tick tubes.

 

Mosquito Squad of SONH

The team at Mosquito Squad of SoNH

It’s true that winter may not have affected the ticks in your yard, but Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire can. So don’t wait. Call us for a free quote today, and do something to reduce your risk of tick exposure. • (603) 373 – 8863 • email: sonh@mosquitosquad.com
Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire

Lyme Disease in New Hampshire: No Immunity

Adult and Nymph Deer ticks

This side-by-side comparison shows an adult deer tick (left) , with a nymph deer tick (right). Both are very small.

Like many other serious diseases, Lyme disease is no respecter of persons. It strikes the young, old, male, female, overlooked, and famous. This past week, 80’s pop star Debbie Gibson revealed on her blog that she has been battling Lyme Disease. She details her struggles in this announcement, and she is not alone. Other celebrities to have been diagnosed include Jamie Lyn Sigler, star of The Sopranos TV series; Former President George W. Bush; and actor Alec Baldwin. While these cases have received notoriety because of the persons diagnosed are famous, many people contract the illness. According to the CDC, nearly 30,000 cases are reported each year, and many more cases are suspected.

 

The effects of Lyme Disease on the body are serious. The symptoms mimic flu symptoms in many respects (fever, chills, fatigue, muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes) but also include neurological problems. If left untreated, it can cause permanent nerve damage and arthritis. For these people, Lyme Disease truly changes their lives. Early detection and treatment can prevent many of the more severe complications. However, as with most diseases, the very best treatment is prevention. Since the illness can have such a profound impact, it is important to be educated about it and use that information.

 

Tick life cycle chart

Tick life cycle chart

Lyme Disease is a vector borne illness. It is carried by the black-legged tick, commonly known as the “deer tick”. While cold weather simply causes these ticks to hibernate, they proliferate during the summer months, especially in wooded or grassy areas. You are much more likely to contract Lyme during the summer months. People who contract the illness are often bitten by a tick in the nymph stage of development. This is not because more ticks in this stage carry the disease but rather because these ticks are less likely to be detected. The longer an infected tick is attached, the more likely it is to transmit Lyme to its host. Black-legged ticks in the nymph stage are only the size of a comma in newsprint, so often they remain attached until they let go.

 

The best way to prevent being bitten is to prevent exposure to ticks. This is where Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire can help. Our tick treatments are high effective at eliminating ticks on your property and keeping the population under control all season. Help protect your family, guests, and pets from Lyme Disease this season by contacting us today. (Yes, our furry friends can get it too.) Lyme disease can strike anyone, so don’t allow you or those you love to be a statistic.

 

Mosquito Squad of SONH

The team at Mosquito Squad of SoNH

 

 

Call us today for a free quote • (603) 373 – 8863 • email: sonh@mosquitosquad.com
Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire

Mosquito Squad of SONH reminds you that all sizes of tick carry disease

Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire Gives Ticks a Rude Spring Awakening

It is still winter here in Southern New Hampshire. Every couple days, we are getting snow showers, and with temperatures at or below freezing, we are still wearing coats. But it is late February, which means spring is just around the corner. We are all looking forward to milder days, flowers, and new leaves on the trees. The arrival of warm weather will bring cute bunnies and baby birds, but cute animals won’t be the only newbies out and about. Spring will wake a far creepier creature – the tick. Ticks have a life span of two years. In our terms, this is not very long, but it is plenty of time for the tick to be a nuisance and even cause damage by transmitting diseases to our families and pets.

Mosquito Squad of SONH reminds you that all sizes of tick carry diseaseWhile many different species of these insects are a nuisance, the deer tick (Ixodes scapularis) is particularly dangerous because of its ability to carry and transmit Lyme disease to humans and animals. During the deer tick’s life cycle, it passes through four stages – egg, larvae, nymph, and adult. A tick is typically infected with Lyme disease when, in its larval stage, it feeds on an infected rodent or bird. During any feeding after infection, it can transmit Lyme disease to its new host. The tick’s nymph stage is actually the most dangerous to humans and pets. During this stage, the tick posses the disease, and it is extremely small, the size of a poppyseed or a comma in newsprint. While an adult tick is still capable of spreading Lyme disease, its size (though still small) makes it easier to discover and remove before infection occurs. The longer a tick is attached the more likely it is to pass Lyme to a host, so the incredibly small size of nymphs makes them the most likely to give humans or pets Lyme disease. Deer tick nymphs are active and feeding during the spring and summer months. Though they are dormant right now, all it takes is a few warm days to wake them.

ticks-warning-signLyme is a disease of concern here in our area. The CDC has reported that, in 2012, 95% of all reported Lyme disease cases occurred in 13 states. New Hampshire was one of these states. Since we are aware that the disease is a risk every year, it is important to act now in order to protect you and your family. Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire is ready to give the ticks from Windham to Candia and east from Seabrook Beach to Portsmouth a rude spring awakening. We combat the tick population with a combination of control methods and by interrupting their life cycle. Our barrier spray eradicates ticks in the adult stage, and tick traps effectively eliminate them in the nymph stage. By using both of these methods, we can reduce your risk of exposure to ticks by 97%, and by reducing the number of ticks in your yard, you reduce the risk of Lyme disease.

Mosquito Squad of SONH

The team at Mosquito Squad of SoNH

Don’t give ticks a chance to bite the people and animals you love, let alone infect them. Contact Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire  to discuss our tick control options. We can put them to sleep forever just as soon as they wake up. Call us today for a free quote • (603) 373 – 8863 • email: sonh@mosquitosquad.com

Results of research on Lyme Disease conducted by the CDC indicate the occurence of disease is more widespread than we may have ever imagined!

Mosquito Squad of SONH reminds you that all sizes of tick carry disease

All sizes of ticks can carry and spread Lyme disease.

Each year more than 30,000 cases of Lyme Disease are reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention each year. This staggering number makes Lyme Disease the most commonly reported tick illness in the United States. What makes this number even harder to swallow is according to findings recently released by the CDC in three separate ongoing studies, those reported 30,000 cases of Lyme Disease per annum are just the tip of the iceberg.

The CDC presented the preliminary estimates based on their studies this past Sunday night in Boston at the 2013 International Conference on Lyme Borreliosis and Other Tick-Borne Diseases. According to the CDC the studies aim to define the approximate number of people diagnosed with Lyme disease each year. The first project analyzes medical claims information for approximately 22 million insured people annually for six years, the second project is based on a survey of clinical laboratories and the third project analyzes self-reported Lyme disease cases from a survey of the general public. The new estimate suggests that the total number of people diagnosed with Lyme disease is roughly 10 times higher than the yearly reported number.  This new estimate supports studies published in the 1990s indicating that the true number of cases is between 3- and 12-fold higher than the number of reported cases, according to the CDC.

Southern NH tick protection and control

Lyme Disease s is carried by the deer tick.

These new estimates confirm what many specialists in the field have felt all along, It solidifies the impact of Lyme Disease on the public is huge and we must emphasize the urgent need to heighten awareness of the disease, broaden efforts to reduce ticks and minimize the risk of public health problems from the disease. Part of these renewed efforts would include a community approach involving homeowners trying to eliminate ticks in their own yards, and communities addressing a variety of issues. These issues include rodents that carry the Lyme disease bacteria, deer that play a key role in the ticks’ life cycle, suburban planning, and the interaction between deer, rodents, ticks, and humans. All must be addressed to effectively fight Lyme disease.

Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire continues to make every effort to reduce the risk of residents in NH through our tick control and prevention aimed at preventing Lyme Disease. Those that are customers and receive our service are reducing their risk of coming into contact with a tick that could potentially be carrying the bacteria that causes the diseases by up to 97%. If you are not on our service, signing up can give you peace of mind in knowing you are making every effort to make sure you and your family stay healthy. Successful tick control and prevention begins in your own backyard because your home is where you and your family spend the greatest majority of your time. Imagine, if you will, the impact of every resident utilizing a tick control and prevention program in just one town- at a 97% reduction in ticks that could be carrying Lyme Disease or another tick borne illness- the results would be mind-boggling in terms of tick-borne disease reduction! Though this scenario is imaginary, it confirms the impact you can make in reducing the risk of tick-borne illness on your property.

ticks-warning-signMosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire is dedicated to keeping you safe from Lyme disease with our tick intensive control and prevention treatment. We combine safe and effective barrier sprays that kill adult ticks with tick traps (for nymph ticks) which interrupt the life cycle of the tick eliminating it before it has a chance to spread infection to you. We’ve had great success with our tick trap program which can dramatically reduce the chance of coming into contact with a tick on your treated property.

Mosquito Squad of SONH

The team at Mosquito Squad of SoNH

If you want to learn more about keeping the most important people in your life protected from the tick that could potentially give them Lyme disease, contact Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire today. Call us today for a free quote • (603) 373 – 8863 • email: sonh@mosquitosquad.com

A unique case of comorbid insect-borne illness in Hillsborough County, NH has residents taking heed to the dangers of mosquito and tick borne illness

Dread Skeeter for Mosquito Squad

Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire aims to keep residents informed about the risk of mosquito and tick-borne illness in the granite state.

This season will undoubtedly go down in Southern New Hampshire history as the most unusual in comparison to previous years when it comes to mosquito and tick-borne illness. A prime example of the unusual incidence of vector-borne illness reported in our region is making headlines where a  NH man has been reported to have tested positive for two insect-borne illnesses at the same time. The man has tested positive for both The Jamestown Canyon virus, which is transmitted by infected mosquitoes, and the Powassan virus, which is carried by ticks. Both illnesses have never been reported in New Hampshire. Not only is the discovery of these illnesses a first for our area, one is a tick-borne illness and one is a mosquito-borne illness. The presence of two insect-borne illnesses is what is referred to as a “comorbid” illness. Though reports of comorbid insect-borne illness is more likely to occur when a  patient is diagnosed with a tick-borne comorbid illness such as Lyme Disease and Babesiosis since both of these illnesses are carried by the same vector, being the deer tick. It is very unusual to be diagnosed with both a mosquito-borne illness and a tick-borne illness at the same time, as is the case with this man in Hillsborough County, NH. The discovery is causing concern among New Hampshire residents and proves that mosquito and tick related illness is evolving in our region and it is important to take measures to keep yourself protected to reduce your risk of infection from these tiny terrors.

Mosquito and tick together

This pair is making headlines all over New Hampshire as a rare combination of virus caused by both strikes one NH man at the same time.

This report comes at a time when mosquito and tick-borne illness activity is already gaining media attention all across the country.  Just this summer,  two newly discovered tick-borne illnesses have risen to the surface, Heartland Virus and a new illness not yet named attributed to the bacteria Borrelia miyamotoi which are making the rounds in the Northeastern U.S. These two tick-borne illnesses come in addition to a season where we are seeing positive test results earlier than usual in vector-borne illnesses we are already familiar with. Last week, the first reported case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis was confirmed in Belchertown, MA when a horse tested positive for the mosquito-borne disease and elevated the threat level for the disease to critical level in Belchertown.

We are beginning to hear and read stories of these type of occurrences all over the country but none have been quite as unique in nature as the report of the man with a double insect-borne illness right here in New Hampshire. According to WMUR 9 News of New Hampshire, the Jamestown Canyon virus have been around the United States for a while, and the Powassan virus has been found in Maine and Vermont, so the New Hampshire case is not a surprise. The Granite State resident most likely contracted Powassan Virus from the bite of an infected deer tick. Powassan Virus is rare with fewer than 60 reported cases within North America since the late 1950’s.  In regards to the presence of the Jamestown Canyon Virus, or JCV, this virus normally maintains a relationship between mosquitoes and deer, but somehow this Hillsborough County man contracted the virus. The symptoms that led to the discovery of this rare combination of comorbid vector-borne illnesses closely resemble those that are reported in patients with West Nile Virus, which can closely mimic those of the flu. Symptoms readily seen is West Nile are fever headache, body aches and fatigue.

Southern NH tick protection and control

Powassan Virus is carried by the deer tick.

What is Powassan Virus and Jamestown Canyon Virus?

Powassan virus, (POWV) is a rare tick-borne virus in North America. POWV infects the central nervous system and can cause encephalitis and meningitis. Historically, confirmed cases occurred mainly in the northeastern United States. Since 2008, confirmed cases in Minnesota and Wisconsin have increased. The CDC has also reported a fatal case of POWV encephalitis in Minnesota. POWV infection is caused by an arbovirus (similar to the mosquito-borne West Nile virus) but it is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected tick instead of a mosquito bite. The virus is named for Powassan, Ontario where it was first discovered.

Female mosquito in SoNH full of blood

Mosquitoes are responsible for Jamestown Canyon Virus.

Jamestown Canyon Virus is a mosquito-borne pathogen that circulates widely in North America, primarily between deer and mosquitoes, according to Public health director for the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Dr. Jose Montero, most reported human illnesses, while rare, have been mild, but “moderate-to-severe central nervous system involvement has been reported.” Symptoms of Jamestown Canyon Virus also closely mimic the flu-like symptoms associated with WNV too.

Fortunately, the Hillsborough County man who was diagnosed with this unusual cocktail of mosquito and tick borne illness is expected to make a full recovery. Though this story ends on a good note, Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire urges residents to take heed to the warning this story sends in regards to the risks associated with the presence of mosquitoes and ticks in your backyard. Now is the time to reduce your exposure to mosquitoes and ticks in order to reduce the risk of infection. Mosquito and tick illness is becoming more and more prevalent all over the country. If residents do not exercise safe mosquito and tick practices when venturing outdoors, including your own backyard, it becomes a question of when you or a member of your family will become infected with a vector-borne illness rather than if.

Mosquito Squad of SONH

The team at Mosquito Squad of SoNH

Contact Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire to learn more about our highly effective mosquito and tick control and prevention programs that will keep you and your family protected from the risk of mosquito and tick-borne illness on the home front, and allow you the freedom to not live the rest of your summer in fear of what is lurking in your own backyard!  Live mosquito free or die. Call us today for a free quote • (603) 373 – 8863 • email: sonh@mosquitosquad.com and start living the mosquito free life.

West Nile Virus in New Hamphire- the whole story.

Summer fun mosquito free

Summer fun should be mosquito free!

As a child, I can recall long summer days of carefree outdoor fun that spilled over into the evening hours. Getting bitten by a mosquito was always part of the equation, and so were the whelps and discomfort that followed. Not so very long ago mosquito-borne illness wasn’t a concern our parents worried much about on those fun summer evenings. The only concern of seasonal mosquitoes was the chance of infection from scratching the itchy bites too much. Things have drastically changed in a short period of time when it comes to the way we view mosquitoes.

Fast forward to the present and the many mosquito-borne illnesses we have to consider each time we venture outdoors into an unprotected area and you will realize the impetus of exercising mosquito smart practices.  One of the most prevalent causes for concern is the risk of West Nile Virus. West Nile Virus is a mosquito-borne disease that can cause a mild fever to encephalitis (swelling of the brain) or meningitis (swelling of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord) in humans and other mammals. The West Nile Virus cycle is maintained in nature between mosquitoes and birds, the latter serving as reservoir hosts. The mosquito becomes infected by biting a bird that carries the virus. An infected mosquito can also spread the virus to healthy birds as well. Overwintering adult mosquitoes can harbor the virus and thereby serve as one way of sustaining the disease year to year.

mosquito squad mosquito

Last year the CDC reported a total of 5,674 cases of WNV disease in people, including 286 deaths.

West Nile was first detected in North America in 1999 in New York City.  Prior to 1999, the illness had only been found in Africa, Eastern Europe, and West Asia. When the outbreak in 1999 took place researchers initially thought it might be St. Louis Encephalitis. During the same time researchers were observing human cases, they also noted an increase in avian mortality including wild crows and exotic birds at The Bronx Zoo. This occurrence was a call to alarm, because St. Louis Encephalitis has never shown a trend in avian mortality.  Other pathogenic arboviruses were investigated as the cause of this unusual phenomenon but, subsequent DNA sequencing of human and avian viral isolates indicated that they were closely related to West Nile (WN) Virus, not previously isolated in the Western Hemisphere. This event marked the beginning of things to come in terms of WNV infection. In 2012, all 48 contiguous states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico reported WNV infections in people, birds, or mosquitoes. According to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public Health Services nationally, there has been a dramatic increase in West Nile Virus activity since 2002, including infections reported in New Hampshire.

Mosquito eggs

Reducing the risk of contracting West Nile begins with eliminating areas where mosquitoes breed and lay their eggs.

In our region, human infections of mosquito-borne illnesses such as West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis are as commonplace in the news during the summer months as the prediction of a summer thunderstorm. It can sometimes be hard to initially identify the presence of the disease because some cases are asymptomatic, which means the individual infected may show no symptoms of being ill. Being infected with West Nile Virus can also take those infected down two very different paths, one being the development of West Nile Fever and the other turning into West Nile Disease.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), It is estimated that about 20% of people who become infected with WNV will develop West Nile fever. Symptoms include fever, headache, tiredness, and body aches, occasionally with a skin rash (on the trunk of the body) and swollen lymph glands. While the illness can be as short as a few days, even healthy people have reported being sick for several weeks. The symptoms of severe disease (also called neuroinvasive disease, such as West Nile encephalitis or meningitis or West Nile poliomyelitis) include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, and paralysis. It is estimated that approximately 1 in 150 persons infected with the West Nile virus will develop a more severe form of disease. Serious illness can occur in people of any age; however people over age 50 and some immunocompromised persons (for example, transplant patients) are at the highest risk for getting severely ill when infected with WNV. Most people (about 4 out of 5) who are infected with West Nile virus will not develop any type of illness (an asymptomatic infection); however you cannot know ahead of time if you’ll get sick or not when infected.

Mosquitoes suck

Mosquitoes suck, and so do the diseases they carry!

The best prevention against West Nile, and other mosquito related illnesses is to exercise efficient mosquito control and prevention practices. Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire can eradicate and prevent the resurgence of mosquitoes on your property all season long with our barrier spray program. Our safe and effective barrier spray will kill what mosquitoes are present and prevent resurgence for 21 days. Getting started is easy and worry free. Our rotation program ensures mosquito control all summer long.

Mosquito Squad of SONH

The team at Mosquito Squad of SoNH

Contact Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire to learn more about and our safe and effective barrier spray program. Live mosquito free or die. Call now (603) 373 – 8863 • email: sonh@mosquitosquad.comto start living the mosquito free life.