PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) today announced that the remaining 168 mosquito samples from 32 traps set on Monday, August 1, 2016 have tested negative for both West Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). Last week DEM reported that a sample of mosquitoes collected on August 1 in Chapman Swamp in Westerly tested positive for EEE, and that a pool of mosquitoes trapped on August 1 in Tiverton tested positive for Jamestown Canyon Virus.
Personal protection is the first line of defense against mosquitoes that may carry WNV, EEE, or other diseases – and the most effective way to avoid infection. Throughout the summer season, the public is encouraged to:
• Eliminate mosquito breeding grounds from yards by removing anything that holds standing water, such as old tires, buckets, junk and debris. Just one cup of standing water can produce hundreds of mosquitoes. • Clean gutters so they drain correctly. • Make sure swimming pools are treated with chlorine, pumps are running properly, and any water that collects on pool covers is removed. • 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. Use mosquito repellent, but with no more than 30 percent DEET. Do not use repellent on infants. To date, there has been one confirmed local finding of WNV and one confirmed finding of EEE in a mosquito sample in Rhode Island. There are no confirmed human cases of WNV or EEE in Rhode Island. WNV has also been detected in mosquito samples trapped in Massachusetts and Connecticut. EEE has also been confirmed in a mosquito sample trapped in southeastern Massachusetts.
Mosquitoes are trapped weekly by DEM and tested at the Rhode Island State Health Laboratories. DEM issues weekly advisories on test results from late June through September, with additional reports as necessary. Test results are pending for the 26 traps set on August 9 and will be included in next week's announcement. Typically positive mosquito test results will trigger additional trapping to assess risk.
Visit www.health.ri.gov for additional mosquito prevention tips and for local data. For more information about DEM divisions and programs, visit www.dem.ri.gov. Follow us on Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM) and/or Facebook at www.facebook.com/RhodeIslandDEM for timely updates.