West Nile virus detected in RI for 1st time this summer


(Photo by Jack Leonard/New Orleans Mosquito and Termite Control Board/Getty Images)

CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — A mosquito sample from Cranston tested positive for West Nile virus, marking the first finding in the state so far this summer.

The R.I. Department of Environmental Management (DEM) said the sample was collected on July 29 and it was the only positive finding of the 70 samples gathered statewide.

West Nile virus is transmitted to humans through mosquito bites and can cause serious illness, especially for people with weakened immune systems.

The DEM urges Rhode Islanders to take steps to prevent mosquito bites, such as wearing long-sleeved shirts, pants and EPA-approved bug spray at sunrise and sundown, installing screens in all the doors and windows in your home, and removing standing water and other mosquito breeding grounds from your yard.

The virus has already been detected in Massachusetts and Connecticut this year, according to the DEM.

Another mosquito-borne disease, Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), has not been detected in Rhode Island, Massachusetts or Connecticut so far this summer.

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