[MSS News] EEE in Hopkinton
mbessette at hopkintonschools.org
Tue Sep 6 08:23:21 EDT 2005
As you may have heard, a sparrow found dead on HMS property this week
tested positive for EEE (Eastern Equine Encephalitis). Bill Carozza has been in
contact with officials at the New Hampshire Department of Health and
Human Services (DHHS) and they have provided the District with important
information, most of which was printed in the Branching Out provided
to you last week.
1. EEE is an uncommon but serious disease caused by the EEE virus. EEE
is an arbovirus (short for "arthropod-borne", meaning "spread by
insects"). The virus can be transmitted to horses, other animals, and,
in rare cases, people. The EEE virus grows in birds that live in
freshwater swamps. The virus has a complex life cycle involving birds
and a specific type of mosquito, called Culiseta Melanura. This
particular mosquito does not bite people. Sometimes though, the virus
can escape from its marsh habitat by means of other mosquitoes that
feed on both birds and mammals. These mosquitoes can then transmit the
virus to animals and people.
2. Bill spoke with Jody Schweitzer, a New Hampshire State
Epidemiologist, and she stated that the threat of the virus is no
greater at HMS than anywhere else in town, or perhaps the surrounding
area. The virus grows with the bird and is then transmitted to
mosquitos, and there's no telling where the bird came from.
3. Ms. Schweitzer feels the risk is minimal for children while they are
at school since mosquitos are mainly active at dawn and dusk. Thus no
special precautions have to be taken. However, she does suggest that
children could be sprayed with repellent containing DEET. If you would
like, you may spray your child before they go to school which will
cover them during any morning hours when there may be mosquitos
present. It is recommended that the repellent you buy contain 10% or
less DEET. An extra precaution is to have students wear long pants and
perhaps long sleeves to school.
4. I have asked our custodians to conduct a careful review of our
property to make sure that
all standing water is eliminated, as this is a possible breeding source
Of course, these precautions are very important for all of you at home.
We will be sending more information home to you next week, but in the
meantime, feel free to check out:
http://www.dhhs.nh.gov-on the homepage there are some links to EEE.
As always, if you have questions, contact me via phone or email.
Michael A. Bessette
Principal, Maple Street School
194 Maple Street
Contoocook, NH 03229
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