Plaistow, Atkinson Among New Hampshire Towns Facing West Nile ‘Public Health Threat’

New Hampshire state officials issued a public health threat tied to the spread of West Nile last week. (File photograph)

Plaistow, Atkinson and Sandown are among the Southern New Hampshire towns impacted by what state officials call a “public health threat” tied to the spread of West Nile Virus in the area.

The declaration comes in the wake of 16 batches of mosquitos testing positive across the state—the highest rate in five years, according to officials. Since July, there have been nine reported cases in Manchester, three in Nashua, and one each in Salem, Keene, North Hampton and Rye.

"Based on our surveillance information, we believe there is an increased risk for human illness in the southern part of the state," the health department’s Jeffrey A. Meyers said in a statement. "Neighboring states have reported cases in humans, including one in Maine and four in Massachusetts. We are being proactive in New Hampshire, especially as we head into the fall, when mosquito-borne illnesses are most common."

Plaistow town officials have confirmed their risk level for infection remains at a “moderate” level.

As a result of the threat issuance, Southern New Hampshire municipalities will be able to expedite the implementation of mosquito control measures, state officials said.