The Department of Environmental Management announced Monday that it has found mosquitoes infected with Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in Warren.
The DEM released test results from a mosquito sample from a trap set near Schoolhouse Road in Warren. The positive EEE result was from a Culiseta species of mosquitoes that feeds almost exclusively on birds.
The positive finding came from mosquitoes trapped by DEM staff on September 10 and tested at the state Department of Health laboratory. The results were confirmed today.
Even though evening temperatures have gotten cooler, there are still infected mosquitoes in the environment and residents must take precatuions, according to DEM Mosquito Abatement Coordinator Alan Gettman. Biting activity depends on several conditions. It generally is greatest from dusk to dawn. During the day, it decreases in sunny areas at lower temperatures, and increases in shady areas at higher temperatures. Biting activity also generally increases with high humidity and with low wind.
Personal protection is the first line of defense against mosquitoes that can carry diseases such as West Nile Virus and EEE and is the most effective way of avoiding infection, DEM advises. People should use mosquito repellent and cover up when mosquito-biting activity is greatest. They should place mosquito netting over playpens and carriages outside, and be sure that screens are in good repair. Mosquito repellent should contain no more than 30 percent DEET, and it should not be used on infants.
This year, to date in Rhode Island, five pools of mosquitoes have tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis and four pools have tested positive for West Nile Virus.
DEM staffers trap mosquitoes throughout Rhode Island every week. The remaining test results from the remaining 118 pools of mosquitoes trapped on Sept. 10 will be annouced next week, DEM reported.
For online information about mosquito-borne diseases, go to DEM's website, www. dem.ri.gov, and click on “Public Health Updates,” or go to the HEALTH website, www.health.ri.gov, and click on “E” (Eastern Equine Encephalitis) or “W” (West Nile Virus) under “Health Topics.”