West Nile virus found in Rhode Island mosquito trap

The Department of Environmental Management and the Rhode Island Department of Health announced on Wednesday they found West Nile virus in a mosquito trap.

A trap that was set on September 3 in Barrington, Rhode Island tested positive for West Nile virus. The positive result came from a pool of mosquitoes that were trapped near Barrington High School. The mosquitoes were of the Culex species, which feasts on both birds and mammals.

This is the fourth time this year that WNV has been found in Rhode Island. The Rhode Island Department of Health recently confirmed Eastern Equine Encephalitis in mosquitoes trapped near Tiverton and in Chapman Swamp. This brings the year's total to four confirmed pools of WNV and three of EEE.

These tests results, however, are not uncommon for this time of year. Test results on 102 mosquito pools from 33 traps set statewide during the week of September 3 are pending.

The Rhode Island Department of Health recommends that people take basic precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes such as wearing long shirts and sleeves, using bug spray when outside and staying inside during the most active hours for mosquitoes, which are from dusk to dawn.