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Newport County Resident Diagnosed with West Nile Fever

The report is the first human case of West Nile Virus Infection reported by the Rhode Island Department of Health

The Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) reported today that a man in his 50s from Newport County was diagnosed with West Nile fever, a mild form of West Nile Virus (WNV). The Massachusetts Department of Public Health confirmed the diagnosis. The man first developed symptoms on August 25 and WNV infection was confirmed on Aug. 28. He has since recovered.
                       
“This is yet another reminder that this is the time of year when there are more mosquitoes and Rhode Islanders are at increased risk for exposure to mosquito-borne illnesses like West Nile Virus,” said Director of Health Michael Fine, MD. “It is imperative that anyone who spends a lot of time outside to use safeguards against mosquitoes.”
 
Personal protection is the first line of defense against mosquitoes that can carry diseases such as WNV and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and is by far the most effective way of avoiding infection. People should routinely use mosquito repellent and cover up or avoid outdoor activity at dusk and dawn when mosquito-biting activity is greatest. Place mosquito netting over playpens and carriages outside, and be sure that screens are in good repair. Mosquito repellent should contain no more than 30 percent DEET, and it should not be used on infants. It is also important to make sure there is no standing water in yards or in other public gathering places.
 
To date this year, there have been three mosquito pools in Rhode Island that have tested positive for WNV and three that have tested positive for EEE. For information about mosquito-borne diseases, visit www.health.ri.gov/disease/carriers/mosquitoes/.

Claire Arrico September 12, 2012 at 06:20 PM
I am not surprised, this year has been very bad with this problem. My concern is they still have all sports going on at the Portsmouth High School until dark. We have seen a few dead birds this year in our yard.
FYI September 13, 2012 at 04:26 PM
Did you know that you are suppose to report dead birds found? "Q: I found a dead bird in my yard, and considering the West Nile Virus, what should I do? If the dead bird shows no signs of trauma (broken wing, bloodied, etc.), or if the bird has not been dead for more than 24 - 30 hours, or does not show signs of decomposition, call the DEM hotline for dead birds at 788-3698. If the dead bird is exposed in the hot sun, shade it with something like an inverted laundry basket or move it into the shade with a shovel or a gloved hand. Although the target birds are crows and bluejays, the DEM will take a look at other species as well. If the dead bird shows signs of trauma (broken wing, bloodied, etc.) or if the bird has been dead for more than 24 - 30 hours or shows signs of decomposition you may bury the bird with gloved hands or double bag the bird and dispose of it as you would your regular refuse. For questions about the disease West Nile Virus call the Dept. of Health's Family Health Information line- 1-800-942-7434." Found at http://www.dem.ri.gov/programs/bnatres/fishwild/huntered/wfaqs.htm

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