EXETER, R.I. (WPRI) — Health officials said Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) has been detected in a third Rhode Island town this year.

A mosquito sample taken in Exeter on Sept. 28 tested positive the the virus.

This comes after at least five mosquito samples tested positive for EEE in Glocester, forcing that town to close all of its state-managed recreational areas until further notice. A Donkey also tested positive for the virus there. EEE was also found on Block Island earlier in September.

The first human case of West Nile Virus for 2023 in Rhode Island was also announced this week. The Health Department said the person is in their 70s and lives in Newport County. They reportedly contracted the virus in late August and are now recovering.

A sample from Barrington taken on Sept. 26 has since tested positive for West Nile. That brings this year’s total to at least three for that town.

Locations are not exact and are meant to illustrate findings by community. Source: RI DEM/RI DOH

Rhode Islanders should take the following steps to prevent mosquito bites:

  • Put screens on windows and doors
  • Avoid being outside during sunrise and sunset
  • Use EPA-approved bug spray
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants
  • Remove items that collect water from around your house
  • Clean gutters and downspouts for proper drainage
  • Remove unused water from pools, trash bins or anything that collects water

The risk of contracting mosquito-borne illnesses lasts until the first hard frost, which usually arrives in late October.