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News Release
RI Department of Environmental Management
235 Promenade St., Providence, RI 02908
(401) 222-2771 TDD/(401) 222-4462




Wednesday, August 30


12 Noon


East Providence City Hall, 145 Taunton Avenue, East Providence

For Release:

August 29, 2000

Media Contact:

Malcolm Grant 222-6605, cell phone 447-1351
Stephanie Powell 222-4700 ext. 4418, pager 482-2968


DEM Recommends Limited Ground Spraying in Small Area of East Providence But Personal Protection Remains Primary Prevention Measure

PROVIDENCE -The Department of Environmental Management today recommended limited ground spraying in a small area of East Providence eastward of Wampanoag Trail based on the location of a dead crow in Seekonk, MA that was found to be infected with West Nile Virus.

The dead crow was found on Fieldwood Avenue in Seekonk on August 24 and tested at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health in Boston. Results were received by Seekonk officials Monday evening, and reviewed by DEM on Tuesday morning in consultation with Massachusetts authorities.

In light of the finding, and in accordance with Rhode Island's West Nile Virus Action Plan, public education emphasizing personal protection will be intensified, DEM will adjust its mosquito surveillance locations by adding additional traps in the area, and DEM will recommend ground spraying of populated areas in East Providence east of Wampanoag Trail.

Spraying will be done by trained municipal employees from East Providence using truck-mounted ultra-low -volume sprayers provided by DEM. The spraying will take place at night, weather permitting, beginning at 7 p.m. on Wednesday evening, with a rain date of Thursday

evening. DEM and East Providence officials will meet tomorrow at 11 a.m. in East Providence City Hall to go over plans, and a press briefing will be held at noon at city hall. More information about spraying plans will be available at that time. No spraying will occur near open water or field crops. The spraying will be preceded by a comprehensive public information effort, as time allows.

The spraying will involve the use of the pesticide Sumithrin, which DEM is supplying to East Providence. Sumithrin is a pyrethroid-based adulticide effective for controlling mosquitoes. The active ingredient in Sumithrin is a man-made pesticide, similar to natural groups of pesticides called pyrethrins, which come from plants such as the common chrysanthemum. These pesticides are also used in pet shampoos, flea sprays and household insect sprays.

Spraying can be part of a comprehensive program of mosquito control and disease prevention. When implemented, spraying is conducted in accordance with US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state protocol guidelines. Health risks associated with the use of Sumithrin in this manner are negligible. As with any pesticide, you want to reduce exposure.

The Department of Health recommends:


Avoid direct exposure to pesticides.

Keep all family members and pets inside during spraying.

Stay inside at least 10 minutes after spraying - longer if you can.


If exposed, wash yourself off.


Consider taking additional steps to further reduce exposure during spraying.

Close windows, shut off air conditioners.

Bring toys, clothes and small equipment inside.

Cover outdoor tables and big equipment.

Close car windows, and turn air to re-circulate mode.

Wash any exposed fruits and vegetables, such as those from your garden, before storing, cooking or eating.

Anyone experiencing adverse reactions to pesticides should call their doctor or the Regional Center for Poison Control at 1-800-682-9211. Persons with asthma or other respiratory problems should stay indoors during spraying.

East Providence residents can get information about ground spraying in their area by calling 435-7751 from Wednesday morning through the duration of the spraying.

Information about ground spraying is also available during normal business hours by calling HEALTH's Family Health Information Line: 1-800-942-7434 or DEM 's toll-free Mosquito Information Line: 1-866-634-7500. DEM's Mosquito Information Line is will be open until 8 p.m. tonight and tomorrow night because of today's decision.

Under the state's mosquito action plan, testing birds and mosquitoes for signs of the disease has been ongoing since late May. All test results have been negative for West Nile Virus in Rhode Island, with the exception of one crow in Warwick one in Westerly, and one in Newport.

Note to editors: For information specific to health, contact Robert Marshall, Jr., Ph.D. at the Department of Health, 222-1017, pager 544-4359.

For General Information 222-6800 • After Hours Emergencies 222-3070 • Disclaimer