Precip and EEE
April 18, 2010

Due to the recent deluge in parts (or all) of the Northeast, EEE should make a strong showing this year. It is known that moisture is needed to sustain the vectors that carry the virus and with the substantial amount that has fallen over the past several months, vectors will have an increased selection on where they might reside. With the significant increase over the average rainfall for this time of year and the unseasonably warm temps early on, I would venture to say that EEE will make a significant showing this year. Since 2003, average precipitation amounts for NH have been around 55.87″ with on average 30 animal EEE occurrences per year (humans included). That’s almost one EEE occurrence per 2″ of precipitation. However, this year has seen record setting precipitation in the first quarter of the year alone. Southern NH, especially Rockingham county, was hard hit with Epping, Greenland, and Portsmouth exceeding 14″ of precip in March alone. Of course, this area of the State is the primary hotspot for EEE any way.

As we can see, we’re dealing with the potential for increased occurrence for EEE this year due to increased precipitation. It’s important to realize that the environment can be a great predictor of disease, especially for those that are spread by animals such as mosquitoes and birds because their livelihood heavily depends on it. In my opinion, prediction and prevention, using environmental data, is the best way to combat these diseases; to know and understand the world around you puts you in control to decide whats best for you and that’s the way it should be.