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RI Department of Environmental Management
235 Promenade Street, Providence, RI 02908
(401) 222-2771 TDD/(401) 222-4462
DEM, HEALTH ADVISE RHODE ISLANDERS TO PROTECT THEMSELVES FROM GETTING MOSQUITO BITES
To help protect themselves and their families from mosquito-borne illness, Rhode Islanders should:
To date, there have been two isolations of WNV in Rhode Island. EEE has not been found this season in Rhode Island. However, both diseases are currently present in our area. WNV and EEE have recently been found in mosquito samples in Massachusetts, and WNV has been isolated from mosquitoes trapped in Connecticut.
Test results also showed the presence of Highlands J virus in a sample of mosquitoes trapped on September 2 near Pocasset Cemetery in northern Tiverton. "The Highlands J virus," said Alan Gettman, DEM Mosquito Abatement Coordinator, "does not produce disease in humans, nor does it guarantee the presence of EEE. It is used as an indicator of the possibility of EEE and simply indicates that environmental conditions are right for the EEE virus to multiply and that the level of risk may be higher."
Test results on the remaining 97 pools of mosquitoes collected on September 2 are pending at the RI Health Department laboratory.
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.
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".