PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — West Nile virus has been detected in Rhode Island for the second time this season, according to the R.I. Department of Environmental Management (DEM).
The DEM said mosquito samples collected throughout the week of Aug. 23 tested positive for the virus, one week after the state reported its first West Nile virus finding.
The disease has only been detected in Westerly so far this season, according to the DEM.
No human cases have been reported in Rhode Island, though neighboring Massachusetts has had two human cases so far this season.
None of the recently-collected mosquito samples tested positive for Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE). EEE has only been detected once this season in South Kingstown.
Both West Nile virus and EEE become more prevalent as the season progresses, which is why the DEM is urging Rhode Islanders to take the proper precautions to prevent mosquito bites.
The risk of contracting mosquito-borne illnesses lasts until the first hard frost, which usually arrives in late October.
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