First Reported Case of EEE in a Horse from Rhode Island - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

First Reported Case of EEE in a Horse from Rhode Island

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By Sean Cahill

Twitter: @CahillSeanABC6

Test results on a one year-old horse from Wyoming, RI have been confirmed positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) according to RI State Veterinarian Scott Marshall. The horse had to be euthanized on September 20 at Tufts Veterinary School in Massachusetts, where it had been brought for treatment. Records indicate that the horse was not fully immunized against EEE.

 The Department of Environmental Management also announced that test results from the remaining 123 mosquito samples, from 35 traps set statewide during the week of September 9 are negative for both West Nile Virus (WNV) and EEE.

 This year, to date in Rhode Island, seven samples of mosquitoes have tested positive forWNV and four samples of mosquitoes have tested positive for EEE.

To help protect yourselves and your families from mosquito-borne illness, the DEM and Health strongly recommend that Rhode Islanders should:

  • Dress for protection. Wear long pants, long-sleeve shirts and socks during outdoor evening and early morning activities.
  • Use bug spray. Use mosquito repellent with no more than 30 percent DEET during outdoor activities, particularly at dawn, dusk, and evening hours, when mosquitoes are most active. Do not use repellent on infants.  Instead, put mosquito netting over playpens and baby carriages.
  • Time activities for maximum protection. If possible, minimize outdoor activities between dusk and dawn.
  • Evaluate the environment. Be sure all open windows are screened, repair any holes in screens, and fix loose screens. Residents and facility groundskeepers should immediately look for and empty standing water following heavy rain, and ensure rain gutters are clear of debris that might trap water. Remove any standing water around yards and houses by emptying planters, wading pools, trash and recycling bins, and other places where water might accumulate to reduce mosquito breeding. Mosquitoes breed in standing water. Just one cup of standing water can produce hundreds of mosquitoes.

For online information about mosquito-borne diseases, go to DEM's website,, and click on "Public Health Updates," or go to the HEALTH website,, and click on "E" (Eastern Equine Encephalitis), "M" (Mosquitoes), or "W" (West Nile Virus) under "Topics & Programs."

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