First case of Triple E in Rhode Island confirmed
CENTRAL FALLS, R.I.. (WLNE) -- Mosquitoes have tested positive for the Triple E virus in Central Falls.
This follows positives in Connecticut, and in Massachusetts, where there were 265 positive Triple E mosquito pools in Bristol and Plymouth counties alone.
"It's definitely a higher than average summer in terms of risk," said Michael Healey of the Department of Environmental Management. "I don't think we've heard that number of positives in Massachusetts in quite some time."
Last week officials in Plymouth County also announced a human case of Triple E that put a man in a coma.
That hasn't happened in Rhode Island -- yet.
"Not many people catch the virus, contract it," Healey said. "The bad thing is that it can be very serious if you do contract the illness."
There is no cure, and it can cause serious brain damage.
That's why parents in the Central Falls area are concerned.
"It's one more thing we're going to have to worry about," said parent Abrao Silva. "Because for the kids playing around, especially, with the mosquitoes in summertime. So it's a very dangerous thing."
So what can you do to protect yourself?
Health experts say to watch out for mosquito–friendly standing water, limit outdoor activities overnight, use bug spray with DEET -- except on infants, and — despite the discomfort in summer — wear long sleeves.
One Central Falls resident says he's keeping his windows closed overnight, but otherwise, not getting too alarmed.
"The virus has been around the whole time I've lived in New England," he said. "You take precautions, but you can't change your life because of something like that."
The DEM says it is continuing to test mosquitoes for Triple E across the state.
© WLNE-TV 2019