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

For Release:

September 21, 2000

Contact:

Malcolm Grant 222-6605
Stephanie Powell 222-4700 ext. 4418

DEM'S WEEKLY MOSQUITO TESTING RESULTS SHOW NO PRESENCE OF WEST NILE VIRUS OR EEE

DEM's West Nile Virus Bulletin
DEM's WNV/EEE Index Page

PROVIDENCE - The Department of Environmental Management has announced that test results on 63 pools of mosquitoes collected from 24 traps set statewide on September11 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.

This is particularly true now that evening temperatures are in flux. Although the state’s protocol calls for ground-spraying within a two mile radius of positive findings of West Nile Virus, weather permitting, spraying for flying mosquitoes cannot take place when the temperature drops below 55 degrees since mosquito activity is dramatically decreased below that temperature. However, mosquito numbers have not yet dropped to low levels, meaning that at higher temperatures they continue to pose a threat.

In addition, 139 birds have been tested for the two viruses since DEM's bird surveillance program began in late May, and results for another 36 are pending. One hundred thirty of those birds have tested negative for either disease, seven were previously reported as positive for West Nile Virus and two were 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 80 pools from 39 traps set on September 18, and should be available next Thursday.

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 www.health.state.ri.us and on the DEM website at www.dem.state.ri.us.


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