Deer in Coventry found with EEE, fifth statewide sample found in Westerly swamp
Rhode Island health and environmental officials said a deer was found with EEE in Coventry and the fifth sample of EEE and the second case of West Nile Virus was found in Chapman Swamp in Westerly.
With deer hunting season set to open on September 15, the DEM will be conducting outreach to hunters about precautions to take for EEE, although humans cannot contract the disease from deer, the DEM said in a release.
"In the latest round of trapping, DEM collected 116 pools, or samples, from 28 traps on September 3. The mosquitoes testing positive for both EEE and West Nile Virus (WNV) came from the same pool trapped in Chapman Swamp in Westerly," said DEM spokesperson Michael Healey in a release."Statewide to date, EEE has been detected in five mosquito pools – two in Central Falls and three in Westerly – and WNV has been detected in Tiverton and Westerly."
This comes after a person from West Warwick died from the virus on Sunday, marking the first fatal case in Rhode Island since 2007.
Joseph Wendelken with the Rhode Island Department of Health said that there were two possible places this person who was over the age of 50 could have contracted the virus.
"The person was from West Warwick and had traveled to Providence. So those are the two exposure areas that are being considered here," he said. "About a third of people who get EEE end up passing away."
Two people in southern New England have died from the disease, marking an alarmingly high number of human cases for the season.
A Fairhaven woman died from EEE last month.
Wendelken said that the entire country sees an average of about seven to ten human cases of EEE every year.
Rhode Island and Massachusetts has seen eight so far this season.