EEE Found in Horse and Third Mosquito Sample in Westerly

WESTERLY, RI (WLNE) – A horse tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) last Saturday in Westerly, according to Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM).

The DEM also said that a third positive finding of EEE was found in a mosquito trap at Chapman Swamp.

The horse was 6-months old and was too young to be vaccinated for EEE, according to DEM.

On Aug. 15, DEM confirmed the first two positive EEE findings in Rhode Island in mosquito samples that were collected in Central Falls.

The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) recommended to schools and municipal leaders that all outdoor activities scheduled to occur during early morning or dusk hours, should be rescheduled to earlier in the afternoon or relocated indoors.

RIDOH recommends that this scheduling should stay in effect for the remainder of the mosquito season, which typically ends after the first hard frost, the DEM said.

The Rhode Island DEM provided the following tips to protect yourself from mosquito bites and to help prevent mosquito breeding:

Protect yourself


  • Put screens on windows and doors. Fix screens that are loose or have holes.
  • At sunrise and sundown (when mosquitoes that carry EEE are most active), consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning. If you must be outside, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants and use bug spray.
  • Use EPA-approved bug spray with one of the following active ingredients: DEET (20-30% strength); picaridin, IR3535; and oil of lemon eucalyptus or paramenthane. Always read the label and follow all directions and precautions.
  • Do not use bug spray with DEET on infants under two months of age. Children should be careful not to rub their eyes after bug spray has been applied on their skin. Wash children’s hands with soap and water to remove any bug spray when they return indoors.
  • Put mosquito netting over playpens and baby carriages.

Get rid of mosquito breeding grounds


  • Get rid of anything around your house and yard that collects water. Just one cup of water can produce hundreds of mosquitoes; an unused tire containing water can produce thousands of mosquitoes.
  • Clean your gutters and downspouts so that they can drain properly.
  • Remove any water from unused swimming pools, wading pools, boats, planters, trash and recycling bins, tires, and anything else that collects water, and cover them.
  • Remove or treat any shallow water that can accumulate on top of a pool cover. Larvicide treatments, such as Mosquito Dunks can be applied to kill immature mosquitoes. This environmentally-friendly product is available at many hardware and garden stores and on-line.
  • Change the water in birdbaths at least two times a week and rinse out birdbaths once a week.