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How to Protect Yourself From Mosquito Bites

Massachusetts Department of Health announced that numerous Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE)-positive mosquito samples were found in that state. Rhode Island officials urge residents to take measures to protect themselves.

The Rhode Island Department of Health is reminding all Rhode Islanders to take precautions to protect themselves from mosquito bites after the Massachusetts Department of Health announced that numerous Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE)-positive mosquito samples were found in that state.

Massachusetts has announced that aerial spraying for mosquitoes will take place in 21 cities and towns there on Friday, July 20, and Saturday, July 21, including nearby Rehoboth.

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) tests mosquito pools statewide in Rhode Island for EEE and West Nile Virus (WNV) each week. DEM reports that the state today received its first positive result for West Nile Virus from a sample pool in Westerly.

No positive EEE results have been reported in Rhode Island at this time.

"We typically see sporadic positive results for WNV in mosquitoes in Rhode Island and occasionally see positive results for EEE in mosquitoes as well," said Michael Fine, MD, director of HEALTH. "Although Rhode Island's test results do not indicate the presence of EEE or significant WNV in mosquitoes at this time, it is important that all Rhode Islanders make every effort to protect themselves from mosquito bites."

To best protect against mosquito bites, Rhode Islanders are advised to:

  • Minimize outdoor activities during peak mosquito time (typically dusk to dawn) 
  • Use mosquito repellent with DEET during outdoor activity, particularly during evening hours
  • Dress in long pants, long-sleeve shirts, and socks during outdoor evening activities
  • Use mosquito netting on baby carriages or play yards when your baby is outdoors - Repair holes in screens, and fix any loose screens. Be sure all open windows are screened.
  • Remove standing water around your yard and house by emptying planters, wading pools, trash and recycling bins, and other places where water might accumulate to reduce mosquito breeding

WNV is typically a mild illness in humans, characterized by flu-like symptoms. EEE is a rare, but serious disease characterized by fever, headache, drowsiness, convulsions and, in serious cases, coma.

Robert E July 20, 2012 at 09:57 AM
Why don't they just spray? The State of Massachusetts does aerial mosquito spraying every year and you can sit out in your yard at night without any repellent. I can remember when I was a kid in Portsmouth they used to spray every year now they don't and you can't even go outside. My mother in law lives in Somerset and they do not have a mosquito problem I have frend that live in Fall River and they sit out every night with no bites thay won't come here to visit because you get eaten alive. I don't know why the state won't do anything.
Petey July 20, 2012 at 01:37 PM
EEE hasn't been found in RI this year, but WNV has. The difference is that EEE is deadly. Mass. is spraying in communities that have HIGH EEE risks. Those towns with moderate risk are not being sprayed. As for Fall River, mosquitoes tend not to do well in urban areas. They need the swampy areas, such as Freetown, Rehoboth, etc. WNV is a mild illness. It doesn't cause death like EEE can. The article mentions that WNV was found in only one mosquito pool sample (Westerly). That wouldn't justify spraying, which is terribly costly. Also, spraying to prevent transmission of a mild illness is a bit overkill. There are health effects (known and unknown) from spraying. A little common sense will prevent WNV -- don't go out at dusk, cover yourself, repair screens, etc. Prevention is way cheaper than treatment.
Chris St Peter July 24, 2012 at 06:24 PM
I Don't Think We Have To Worry About Mosquitos Carrying Triple E Coming To Portsmouth. There Is No Way A Tiny Mosquito Can Carry All Those E's AND $4 For The Toll.

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