FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2016

West Nile virus and EEE found in Rhode Island mosquitoes

The Department of Environmental Management and the Rhode Island Department of Health announced on Wednesday that two mosquito pools in Great Swamp have tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis and West Nile virus.

This is the first time this year that mosquito samples have tested positive in Great Swamp, located in West Kingston. The positive results for EEE was found on August 26 in a pool of 37 Culex species of mosquitoes, which are known to bite both birds and mammals. In a second pool of 50 mosquitoes of the Culiseta species, which feeds only on birds, WNV was confirmed.

Because of these results, more traps will be set up in the South County area for further assessment of the situation. There are also 147 mosquito pools from 33 other traps waiting to be tested.

Rhode Island has seen four pools of mosquitoes test positive for WNV and one pool test positive for EEE this year with no human cases of either disease reported in the state.

The Rhode Island Department of Health asks that all residents take the necessary precautions to protect against contracting one of these diseases. These measures include wearing long sleeves and pants, using bug spray and avoiding outdoor activities during the peak mosquito hours of dawn and dusk.