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HEALTH Reports First Human Case of West Nile Virus Infection

The Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) reports that a 33-year-old Exeter resident was diagnosed with viral meningitis caused by West Nile Virus (WNV). The individual first developed symptoms on September 11.

"This is yet another reminder that this is the time of year when there are infected mosquitoes and Rhode Islanders are at increased risk for exposure to mosquito-borne illnesses like West Nile Virus," said Director of Health Michael Fine, MD. "It is imperative that anyone who spends a lot of time outside to use safeguards against mosquitoes."

The individual was admitted to South County Hospital on September 13. He was discharged on September 17 and is now at home recovering.

Personal protection is the first line of defense against mosquitoes that can carry diseases such as WNV and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and is by far the most effective way of avoiding infection. People should routinely use mosquito repellent and cover up or avoid outdoor activity at dusk and dawn when mosquito-biting activity is greatest. Place mosquito netting over playpens and carriages outside, and be sure that screens are in good repair. Mosquito repellent should contain no more than 30 percent DEET, and it should not be used on infants. It is also important to make sure there is no standing water in yards or in other public gathering places.

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Department or agency: Department of Health


Release date: 09-24-2013

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