The Rhode Island Department of Health reported Tuesday that a Bristol County woman has been diagnosed with meningitis resulting from a West Nile Virus (WNV) infection.
The woman, described as being in her 60s, is now recovering. The health department does not release specific towns of West Nile victims.
This case is Rhode Island’s third case of illness resulting from a West Nile infection this year.
“Though the days are getting shorter and cooler, Rhode Islanders must remain vigilant against the threat of mosquito-borne illness until the first hard frost,” said Michael Fine, director of the health department. “Personal protection and smart scheduling of outdoor activities must remain priorities for everyone.”
Avoiding outdoor activity at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active, is an important protection from the threat of mosquito-borne illness. HEALTH recently advised school districts and city and town officials to implement “smart scheduling” of outdoor activities, such as athletic practices and games, to earlier times that help athletes, coaches and spectators avoid exposure during peak mosquito activity times.
In addition, the department encourages all Rhode Islanders to take personal protection measures, such as wearing long pants, long-sleeved shirts and using bug spray with no more than 30 percent DEET, when they must be outside during dawn or dusk hours. Other important protection measures include placing mosquito netting over infant playpens and carriages when outside, and ensuring that screens are in good repair. It is also important to eliminate standing water in yards or in other public gathering places.
Certain mosquito pools in Rhode Island have recently tested positive for WNV and EEE, including a case in Warren. For information about mosquito-borne diseases, visit www.health.ri.gov/disease/carriers/mosquitoes/