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HEALTH Reports Providence County Case of West Nile Virus Infection

PROVIDENCE - The Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) reports that a man in his 20s from Providence County has been diagnosed with meningitis resulting from a West Nile Virus (WNV) infection. The man is now recovering.

"Although the calendar tells us that summer officially ends this week, the threat of mosquito-borne illness lingers until the first hard frost," said Michael Fine, MD, director of HEALTH. "I encourage all Rhode Islanders to continue to take measures to protect themselves and their children from mosquito bites."

Avoiding outdoor activity at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active, is an important protection from the threat of mosquito-borne illness. HEALTH recently advised school districts and city and town officials to implement "smart scheduling" of outdoor activities, such as athletic practices and games, to earlier times that help athletes, coaches and spectators avoid exposure during peak mosquito activity times.

In addition, HEALTH encourages all Rhode Islanders to take personal protection measures, such as wearing long pants, long-sleeved shirts and using bug spray with no more than 30 percent DEET, when they must be outside during dawn or dusk hours. Other important protection measures include placing mosquito netting over infant playpens and carriages when outside, and ensuring that screens are in good repair. It is also important to eliminate standing water in yards or in other public gathering places.

Certain mosquito pools in Rhode Island have recently tested positive for WNV and EEE. For information about mosquito-borne diseases, visit www.health.ri.gov/disease/carriers/mosquitoes/

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Related links

Department or agency: Department of Health

Online: http://www.health.ri.gov

Release date: 09-18-2012

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