Warren mosquito sample tests positive for West Nile virus

Aedes aegypti mosquito
FILE - This 2006 file photo provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a female Aedes aegypti mosquito in the process of acquiring a blood meal from a human host. The The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016, announced new guidance for doctors whose pregnant patients may have traveled to regions with a tropical illness linked to birth defects. Officials say doctors should ask pregnant women about their travel and certain symptoms, and, if warranted, test them for an infection with the Zika virus. The virus is spread through mosquito bites. (James Gathany/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention via AP, File)

WARREN, R.I. (WPRI) – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) and the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) announced Tuesday that a mosquito sample collected from Warren on Sept. 5 tested positive for West Nile virus.

This is the third finding of West Nile virus in Rhode Island this year, according to environmental officials. The first occurred in Warren on Aug. 7 and the second in Barrington on Aug. 15. The remaining 85 mosquito samples from traps set on Sept. 5 tested negative for West Nile virus and Easten Equine Encephalitis (EEE).

Environmental officials say the positive finding is not unexpected. Mosquito-borne diseases are more prevalent in late summer and early fall, with risk typically lasting until the first frost.

Aedes aegypti mosquito
Fact Sheet: Mosquito-Borne Illness Symptoms & Prevention

The health department said the public should take the following precautions:

  • 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.