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


September 7, 2000


Malcolm Grant 222-6605
Stephanie Powell 222-4700 ext. 4418 pager 482-2968


PROVIDENCE - The Department of Environmental Management has announced that test results on 72 pools of mosquitoes collected from 26 traps set statewide on August 28 are all negative for West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis. Results were received Wednesday afternoon from the University of Rhode Island.

However, DEM reminds all Rhode Islanders to continue to take personal protection steps to avoid mosquito bites, and to prevent mosquito breeding grounds around their homes. Personal protection is the first line of defense against mosquitoes that can carry diseases such as EEE and West Nile Virus and is by far the most effective way of avoiding infection.

In addition, 105 birds have been tested for the two viruses since DEM's bird surveillance program began in late May, and results for another 17 are pending. One hundred of those birds have tested negative for either disease, four were previously reported as positive for West Nile Virus and one was previously reported as positive for EEE. Also previously reported was the presence of West Nile Virus in one horse, which was euthanized.

Results are pending for 72 pools from 40 traps set between August 30 and September 5, and should be available next Friday.*

For questions about mosquitoes and personal protection, please call the Department of Health's Family Health information line weekdays at 1-800-942-7434 or call DEM's Mosquito Information Line weekdays at 1-866-634-7500. Information is also available on the HEALTH website at and on the DEM website at

*Note to Editors: Due to the Labor Day holiday this week, mosquitoes were sent a day later than usual to the lab for testing, so the results will come back a day later than usual. As a result, we will issue our normal Thursday press release on Friday of next week.

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