CONTACT:
DHHS - Public Information Office, 603-271-4957
NH Fish and Game - Jim Oehler, 603-271-2461
September 7, 2007

Outdoors Enthusiasts: Stay Alert to Risk of EEE

CONCORD, NH -- The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department are joining forces to remind outdoor enthusiasts such as hunters, anglers and hikers that mosquitoes and ticks don't have to keep you indoors.  While mosquitoes may carry diseases such as West Nile virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and ticks may transmit Lyme disease, it's easy to protect yourself and your family.

DHHS recommends the use of an effective repellent - products that contain DEET are effective against ticks and mosquitoes. Outdoors enthusiasts should also wear long sleeves and pants when outdoors, and hunters should wear gloves when handling dead birds. 

"It's a popular time of year to be out hunting, fishing or just going outdoors to enjoy the natural splendors of New Hampshire.  Simple measures can protect you from EEE, Lyme disease and other insect-borne illnesses," said Donald Clarke, Acting Executive Director of NH Fish and Game.  "If you're on the water or in the field this fall, just remember to cover up and use insect repellent.  Keep an extra bottle in your backpack or tackle box." 

"The key element to avoiding tick- and mosquito-borne illnesses is to take preventive measures especially the use of an effective repellent," said Mary Ann Cooney, Director of Public Health for DHHS. "New Hampshire has a lot to offer and we want people to enjoy our State, but to do so safely, and avoid tick and mosquito bites."

For more information about insect-borne disease and how to protect yourself and your family, download "Don't Let the Bad Bugs Bite: Risk and Prevention in the Outdoors" (click here).

DHHS maintains a toll-free EEE and West Nile virus hotline; call 1-866-273-6453.

NH Department of Health and Human Services: www.dhhs.nh.gov.

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Insect-borne Illness Prevention Guidelines for Outdoor Enthusiasts

From NH Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health Services and NH Fish and Game Department

Don't let mosquitoes and ticks keep you indoors.  You can continue to enjoy hunting, fishing, hiking, wildlife viewing and other outdoor pursuits, but take precautions to avoid being bitten.

  • Wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt when you will be outdoors for a long period of time, especially during evening, nighttime and dawn hours when mosquitoes are most active and likely to bite.  Wear socks over pants to keep ticks away from legs.
  • Consider the use of an effective insect repellent, such as one containing DEET. A repellent containing 20-30% DEET (N,N-diethyl-methyl-meta-toluamide) for children and adults will protect against tick and mosquito bites; less than 30% DEET for mosquitoes alone. Use DEET according to the manufacturer's directions. Children should not apply DEET to themselves. Repellents that contain Picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus have also been determined to be effective against mosquitoes.
  • Avoid wearing pleasant fragrances, such as scented shampoos, perfumes and colognes, which mosquitoes are attracted to.
  • Avoid bright, floral colors that remind mosquitoes of nectar or mammal flesh.  Khaki, beige and olive have no particular attraction for mosquitoes.
  • Perform tick checks as soon as you go home, and immediately remove any you find.  Do the same to your pets.
  • For greater protection, consider spraying clothing and mosquito nets with Permethrin. If applied according to the directions, Permethrin will repel both mosquitoes and ticks from clothing for several weeks. NEVER APPLY PERMETHRIN DIRECTLY TO SKIN.

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