EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A week after being detected in Rhode Island for the first time this summer, West Nile virus has popped up in two more communities.
The R.I. Department of Environmental Management (DEM) said Thursday that two mosquito samples collected from East Providence and one collected in Warren on Aug. 5 tested positive for the virus.
The remaining 405 samples gathered that week were negative for West Nile virus and another mosquito-borne disease, Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE).
The state’s first finding of West Nile virus happened in Cranston, according to the DEM.
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.