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DEM's WNV/EEE Page

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

For Release: August 10, 2007
Contact: Gail Mastrati 222-4700 ext. 2402
Stephanie Powell 222-4700 ext. 4418

DEM: AUGUST 10 WEST NILE/EEE STATUS UPDATE

PROVIDENCE - The Department of Environmental Management announces that test results from 54 mosquito pools, or samples, from 37 traps set statewide during the week of July 30 are negative for both West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis. Results from two pending samples from the week of July 23 are also negative. Results from two additional mosquito pools from the week of July 30 are pending.

However, West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis are both firmly established throughout the state. Therefore, throughout the mosquito season, residents are encouraged to protect themselves by eliminating mosquito breeding grounds and avoiding mosquito bites. Personal protection is the first line of defense against mosquitoes that can carry diseases such as West Nile Virus and EEE and is by far the most effective way of avoiding infection.

Eliminate mosquito breeding grounds from yards by removing anything that holds standing water, such as old tires, buckets, junk and debris, clean gutters so that they drain correctly, and maintain swimming pools properly. Mosquitoes breed in standing water. Just one cup of standing water can produce hundreds of mosquitoes.

Avoid mosquito bites by using screens on windows and doors, covering up at dawn and dusk, and putting mosquito netting over playpens and baby carriages when they are outside. Also, use mosquito repellent, but with no more than 30 percent DEET. Do not use repellent on infants.

Mosquitoes are trapped every week statewide by DEM staff and tested at the RI Department of Health (HEALTH) laboratory. DEM will normally report mosquito test results once a week on a routine basis, with additional reports as necessary. Test results from mosquitoes trapped this week, and pending results, will be included in next week's announcement. Positive mosquito test results will generally trigger additional trapping to assess risk.

This year, to date in Rhode Island, no mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile Virus or Eastern Equine Encephalitis. One mosquito pool in Seekonk, MA was recently reported positive for EEE, prompting DEM to set additional traps in the Rhode Island East Bay area this week as part of the normal trapping program.

For online information about mosquito-borne diseases, go to DEM's website, www.state.dem.ri.gov, and click on "Public Health Updates", or go to the HEALTH website, www.health.ri.gov, and click on "E" (Eastern Equine Encephalitis) or "W" ((West Nile Virus)) under "Health Topics".

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