2013-08-15 / News

West Nile, EEE cases lower than last year

The state Department of Environmental Management reports that all but one of the 165 mosquito samples collected from 33 traps set on July 29 have been confirmed negative for West Nile virus and for eastern equine encephalitis. Last week, the state’s first finding of West Nile for the season was reported. The virus was isolated from a sample of mosquitoes collected on July 29 in Providence. The virus is increasingly being detected in mosquito samples in Connecticut and in Massachusetts.

While EEE has not been detected in Rhode Island this season, it has been detected in several samples collected in Connecticut and Massachusetts. These findings are not unexpected at this time of year. Both diseases are more prevalent in late summer and early fall, and risk typically lasts until the first frost.

There have been no reported 2013 cases of either disease in humans in Rhode Island at this time.

Throughout the mosquito season, residents are encouraged to protect themselves by eliminating mosquito breeding grounds and avoiding mosquito bites. Personal protection is the first line of defense against mosquitoes that can carry diseases. It is by far the most effective way of avoiding infection, officials say.

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