West Nile Virus Found in Rhode Island

Thursday, August 17, 2017
GoLocalProv News Team

West Nile Virus found in Rhode Island
The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) and the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) announced a mosquito sample has tested positive for West Nile Virus.

The sample was collected on August 7 in Warren. It is the first finding of the virus in Rhode Island this year.

The Sample

The positive mosquito pool is a species that can bite both birds and humans.

The remaining 105 mosquito samples from traps set have tested negative for both West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). 

Mosquitoes are trapped weekly by DEM and tested at the RIDOH State Health Laboratories.

Test results are pending for traps set on August 15.

West Nile Virus in RI

To date, in Rhode Island, there have been three findings of EEE in mosquito samples and one finding of WNV. There are no confirmed human cases of EEE in Rhode Island.

The RI DEM offers the following tips for avoiding mosquitos:

  •  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 out birdbaths once a week.
  • Use EPA-approved bug spray with one of the following active ingredients: DEET (20-30% strength), picaridin, IR3535, and oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol. Do not use bug spray on infants under 1 year of age.
  • 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 dawn and dusk.

 

The DEM gives the following tips for protecting animals:

  • Remove or cover areas where standing water can collect.
  •  Avoid putting animals outside at dawn, dusk or during the night when mosquitoes are most active.
  •  Insect proof facilities where possible and use approved repellants frequently.
  •  Monitor animals for symptoms of fever and/or neurological signs (such as stumbling, depression, loss of appetite) and report all suspicious cases to a veterinarian immediately.  If you are unsure if your horse is properly vaccinated you should consult with your veterinarian.
  • Horses are the most susceptible domestic animal, but other, less common species such as ratites (emus, ostriches, etc.) and camelids (alpacas and llamas) are occasionally infected. Owners of ratites and camelids should consult with their veterinarian regarding vaccination of their particular animals. 
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