No mosquitoes with West Nile Virus in Rhode Island so far this year

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Despite mosquitoes in other states testing positive for West Nile Virus, so far none have been found in Rhode Island this year.

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) released test results on Tuesday from 149 mosquito samples collected from 29 traps statewide during the week of June 30. All tested negative for West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis.

The DEM traps mosquitoes every week to test for West Nile and EEE at the Rhode Island Department of Health Laboratory. The DEM collected 144 mosquito samples from 34 traps last week. Test results are pending.

The DEM reports mosquito results once a week on a routine basis, with additional reports if necessary. Test results from mosquitoes trapped this week will be included in DEM’s announcement next week.

Positive mosquito test results will generally trigger additional trapping to assess risk.

The best ways of avoiding infection are personal protection and eliminating mosquito breeding grounds. The DEM says you can eliminate mosquito breeding grounds by removing anything that holds standing water, including old tires, buckets, junk and debris. One cup of standing water can produce hundreds of mosquitoes.

The DEM also recommends cleaning gutters so they drain correctly and maintain swimming pools properly.

You can avoid mosquito bites by:

  • Using screens on windows and doors;
  • Covering up at dawn and dusk;
  • Putting mosquito netting over playpens and baby carriages when they are outside; and
  • Using mosquito repellent, but with no more than 30 percent DEET. Do not use repellent on infants.

This year there have been several news reports of West Nile Virus being found in mosquitoes in New York and Virginia.

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