Mosquitoes trapped in Westerly test positive for EEE virus

Mosquitoes trapped in Westerly test positive for EEE virus


PROVIDENCE — State environmental and health officials reported Friday that mosquito samples collected in Tiverton, Pawtucket and Westerly on June 26 have tested positive for the eastern equine encephalitis virus. These were the first findings of EEE in Rhode Island this year. There are no confirmed human cases. Severe cases of the encephalitis begin with the onset of headache, high fever, chills, and vomiting four to 10 days after a mosquito bite. The state also tests for the West Nile virus, but there have been no confirmed local findings. To guard against bites and mosquito-borne diseases, officials remind residents to eliminate standing water from around the house, repair window screens, change the water in birdbaths at least two times a week, and rinse out birdbaths once a week. EPA-approved bug sprays should have one of the following active ingredients: DEET (20-30 percent strength), picaridin, IR3535, and oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol. Do not use bug spray on babies under 1 year of age.

Mosquitoes are trapped weekly for testing, and positive test results trigger additional trapping. Visit for additional mosquito prevention tips and for local data.

— The Sun staff

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