The Department of Environmental Management (DEM) and the Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) announced Wednesday that test results from two samples of mosquitos collected from a trap set in the Great Swamp in West Kingston have been confirmed positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile Virus (WNV).
In light of this information, South Kingstown officials are advising all residents to take the following precautions as advised by the Rhode Island Department of Health:
The Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) wants all Rhode Islanders to protect themselves from mosquito bites to help avoid mosquito-borne illness. People who work outside or attend outdoor activities or events are more likely to get bitten by mosquitoes.
Here’s what you can do:
- If you don’t have to be outside early in the morning or in the evening, stay inside. Mosquitoes are most active at these times of day.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and bug spray if you will be outside at sunrise or sundown.
- Use bug spray with no more than 30-percent DEET, and reapply if washed off by sweating or by getting wet. (You can find the DEET information on the label).
- Do NOT use bug spray with DEET on a baby 2 months of age or younger.
- Cover your baby’s playpen or carriage with mosquito netting if you and the baby are outside.
- Make sure all of your windows and doors have screens. Be sure to fix any holes in screens.
- Empty anything in your yard that holds standing water, such as buckets, tubs, kiddie pools, and old tires.
- Clean your gutters so that water will drain properly.
Anyone of any age can be infected, but children and people ages 50 and above— especially the elderly—can develop more severe forms of illness. People with weakened immune systems or with certain medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, and kidney disease, are also at greater risk of severe illness.
For more information about protecting yourself from mosquito-borne disease, visit health.ri.gov/disease/carriers/mosquitoes or call the HEALTH Information Line at (401) 222-5960.