West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis confirmed in Rho - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis confirmed in Rhode Island

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Joseph Krapf



Rhode Island Department of Environmental Health and the Department of Environmental Management have declared positive matches of West Nile Virus (WNV) in Rhode Island based on test results from mosquito pools, samples, and traps on September 9, 2013.  

The positive matches were found in the Smith Hill area of Providence, the southern area of East Providence, and in the central part of North Kingstown.  

The mosquitoes that have been found to have been carrying the disease are of the Culex species, which feed on birds and mammals.  

Along with the findings of WNV, Health and DEM confirm mosquitoes from traps on September 9 in Exeter to be carrying Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE).   

It is not uncommon around this time of the year to find these diseases in the state of RI. 

So far there have not been any reports of humans carrying WNV or EEE in Rhode Island yet this year. 

Massachusetts has three confirmed human cases of WNV, New Jersey has two deaths from WNV, and one death has been reported from EEE in Vermont. 

Along with humans, horses are also among the target of the disease. 

Rhode Island horse owners are advised to get the proper vaccines from their veterinarian.      

WNV is spread primarily by infected mosquitoes. 

If infected the disease can cause meningitis, which is inflammation of lining of the brain and spinal chord. 

It can also cause encephalitis which is the direct inflammation of the brain.  

EEE is among one of the most brutal United States mosquito transmitted diseases.

As far as a definite treatment is concerned for the infected, the treatment depends on the symptoms.  

To avoid possible infection, wear long sleeved shirts, pants and socks when outside around the evening and early morning hours.  

Also, use bug spray and make sure all windows have hole less screens on them.

Mosquitoes are attracted to water and damp environments, be sure to empty out any objects that may hold water after it rains (trash and recycling bins, gutters, etc.)

The Rhode Island DEM runs tests every week on mosquitoes around the state, for more information with regards to mosquito diseases go to www.health.ri.gov and (under "Topics and Programs") click on  "E" for Eastern Equine Encephalitis, "M" for Mosquitoes, or "W" for West Nile Virus.


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