TIVERTON, RI — Mosquito samples collected last month in Tiverton, Pawtucket and Westerly have tested positive for the Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus. The state Department of Environmental Management said the samples were collected June 26. They’re the first indications of EEE in the state this year.
So far, there have been no human cases reported of EEE. But these mosquitoes do bite birds and mammals. Therefore, people are advised to take precautions and to know the symptoms which include a headache, fever, chills and vomiting. To avoid the insect bites, experts suggest wearing 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. (But do not use bug spray on infants under one year of age.) Also, homeowners should remove any standing water on their property and change bird baths at least twice a week.
“In addition to EEE, Rhode Island tests mosquitoes for West Nile Virus (WNV),” the DEM said. “To date, there have been no confirmed local findings of WNV in a mosquito sample. There are no confirmed human cases of WNV in Rhode Island.”
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Originally published July 15, 2017.