New Hampshire health officials say 18 batches of mosquitoes taken from Manchester, Nashua and Salem have tested positive for the West Nile virus.
This is in addition to the eight batches that the city of Manchester already announced this season. The findings have caused the Department of Health and Human Services to raise the risk level for the virus and ones related to it in these cities.
The virus mostly causes flu-like symptoms, but it’s much worse for people with weakened immune systems, for infants, and senior citizens. ( health info) More severe, life threatening forms of the disease are W. Nile meningitis or W. Nile encephalitis.
According to NHPR
The city of Manchester has already reported 8 mosquito batches that tested positive. That brings the state total so far to 26, 23 in Manchester alone. 2 batches tested positive in Nashua and 1 in Salem.
Last year New Hampshire only found a total of 9 positive batches.
Manchester is now classified as being at “high risk” for West Nile Virus.
Last month I wrote about mosquitoes testing positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis in Massachusetts. NH has had cases of animal and human death in the past, caused by Triple E. Mosquitoes aren’t just a pesky nuisance anymore – they’re disease carriers. Climate change will only exacerbate this problem. Some states regard public health as an important issue. NH would not be one of those states.
In fact, NH legislature put a price on public health during the last biennium:
Effective July 1, 2006, RSA 141-C:25 established a mosquito control fund in the NH DHHS to assist cities, towns, and mosquito control districts by providing funding to offset mosquito control activities. During passage of the State Fiscal Year 2012-2013 budget, this program was unfunded. As such no reimbursement funds will be awarded in calendar years 2011 and 2012. Funding for the program beyond State Fiscal Year 2013 will be contingent upon decision making during the next budget cycle.
Short version: Tough luck folks. You’re in Galtville now.