West Nile Virus found in Tiverton, Pawtucket mosquitoes

US Department of Agriculture [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By WPRO News

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) announced Friday that mosquitoes in Tiverton and Pawtucket have tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV). This is the first time WNV has been detected in Rhode Island this year, but DEM said the finding is not unexpected.

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), on the other hand, has been detected in mosquitoes four times in Rhode Island this year.

DEM provided the following list of recommendations for mosquito bite protections:

  • Use EPA-approved bug spray with one of the following active ingredients: DEET (at least 20% strength), picaridin, IR3535, and oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol.
  • Minimize outdoor activity at dawn and at dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Put insect netting over strollers and playpens.
  • Wear long sleeves and long pants whenever possible, particularly if you are outdoors during times when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Remove anything around your house and yard that collects water; just one cup of water can produce hundreds of mosquitoes.
  • Clean gutters and downspouts to ensure proper drainage, and repair holes in window screens.
  • Remove any water from unused swimming pools, wading pools, boats, planters, trash and recycling bins, tires, and anything else that collects water, and cover them.
  • Change the water in birdbaths at least two times a week, and rinse them out once a week.

DEM also noted that horses are particularly susceptible to WNV and EEE, and said those who own them should ensure they’re vaccinated and protected from mosquitoes. DEM said mosquito-borne diseases are more prevalent in late summer and early fall with risk typically lasting until the first frost.

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