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Mosquito Response Protocol
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RI Department of Environmental Management
235 Promenade Street, Providence, RI 02908
(401) 222-2771 TDD/(401) 222-4462
DEM: AUGUST 20 WEST NILE/EEE STATUS UPDATEPROVIDENCE - The Department of Environmental Management announces that test results from the remaining 163 mosquito pools, or samples, from 40 traps set statewide during the week of August 6 are negative for both West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis. DEM announced last week that one pool of mosquitoes collected on August 6 in central Tiverton had tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE).
In Rhode Island EEE has only been found in mosquito species that bite birds, unlike Massachusetts, where EEE has been isolated in mammal-biting mosquito species trapped in numerous locations in southeastern Massachusetts. West Nile Virus is increasingly being detected in mosquito samples trapped at multiple locations in Massachusetts, Western Connecticut, and Long Island. Both diseases are more prevalent in late summer and early fall.
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 and buckets, 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 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, two pools of mosquitoes has tested positive for West Nile Virus and one mosquito pool has tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis.
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".