West Nile Virus found in mosquitoes in RI - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

West Nile Virus found in mosquitoes in RI

Posted: Updated:
By Alana Cerrone


The season’s first positive West Nile Virus sample has been identified in Rhode Island mosquitoes.

Department of Health and Department of Environmental Management officials say the pool of 18 mosquitoes collected on August 4 in the Great Swamp area of West Kingstown has tested positive for the virus. They also noted that those mosquitoes are the type that can bite humans.

Test results on the remaining 150 pools of mosquitoes collected on August 4 are pending.

To date, no mosquitoes in the state have tested positive for EEE, but one positive finding of Jamestown Canyon Virus was detected last week.

No human cases of illness involving West Nile Virus, EEE, or Jamestown Canyon Virus have been reported in Rhode Island at this time.

Officials urge residents to take extra care to protect themselves from mosquito-borne illness, especially after heavy rain: 

•Remove standing water around yards and houses by emptying planters, wading pools, trash and recycling bins, and other places where water might accumulate to reduce mosquito breeding. Mosquitoes breed in standing water. Just one cup of standing water can produce hundreds of mosquitoes.

•Help keep mosquitoes away from your surroundings. Be sure all open windows are screened, repair any holes in screens, and fix loose screens.

•Dress for protection. Wear long pants, long-sleeve shirts and socks during outdoor evening activities.

•Use bug spray. Use mosquito and tick repellent with no more than 30 percent DEET during outdoor activities, particularly at dusk and during evening hours, when mosquitoes are most active. Do not use repellent on infants. Instead, put mosquito netting over playpens and baby carriages.

•Time activities for maximum protection. If possible, minimize outdoor activities between dusk and dawn.

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