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Wed July 24, 2013
N.H. Mosquitoes Test Negative For West Nile Virus...So Far
While mosquitoes in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Vermont have tested positive for West Nile Virus, so far, Granite State bugs are coming up clean.
The state doesn’t start testing mosquitoes until the first of July. Vector Borne Disease Surveillance Coordinator Whitney Howe says that’s because it usually takes a few extra weeks for New Hampshire to heat up into good mosquito habitat. And while it’s been a wet summer, Howe says that’s not a guarantee we’ll see an uptick in West Nile cases.
“We really can’t predict the season, both in terms of mosquito populations and activity and the potential risk for disease transmission, because there are so many environmental factors involved," Howe says. "But certainly mosquitoes do breed most proficiently in warm, wet environments. So right now is prime mosquito season.”
Howe says it’s not unusual for mosquitos to test negative until early August. Last year saw lots of West Nile positives across the country, but New Hampshire only reported one human case. Since mosquito control is a town-level decision, Howe says it’s important for all Granite Staters to take precautions: using mosquito repellant, clearing out stagnant water, and making sure screen windows and doors are in good shape.