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EEE: Friday’s Chill No Hard Frost, DEM, RIDOH Warn

[CREDIT: CDC} Mosquitoes carrying the EEE virus have been found throughout RI. The RI Department of Health recommends rescheduling early morning and late afternoon outdoor activities to early afternoon or to move them indoors to avoid mosquito bites that can transmit the virus.

[CREDIT: CDC} Mosquitoes carrying the EEE virus have been found throughout RI. The RI Department of Health recommends rescheduling early morning and late afternoon outdoor activities to early afternoon or to move them indoors to avoid mosquito bites that can transmit the virus.
[CREDIT: CDC} Mosquitoes carrying the EEE virus have been found throughout RI. The RI Department of Health recommends rescheduling early morning and late afternoon outdoor activities to early afternoon or to move them indoors to avoid mosquito bites that can transmit the virus.
PROVIDENCE – Friday night’s forecasted mid-30s temperatures was welcome news for EEE-wary mosquito watchers, but the Health and Environmental Management departments warned risk of the insect-borne disease remains.

While fewer mosquitoes are active as evening temperatures get cooler, but those mosquitoes that are active are more likely to be infected with EEE, the agencies warned.

The agencies announced Friday that the latest mosquito surveillance sample of mosquitoes trapped in Richmond tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). DEM set traps on Sept. 24 and 26, submitting 114 samples to the RIDOH State Health Laboratory. The lab confirmed a EEE detection in a Richmond sample of mosquitoes that primarily bites birds while also confirming all other samples tested negative for both EEE and West Nile Virus (WNV).

The agencies urged the public to continue protecting themselves from mosquito bites until the first hard frost of autumn. A hard frost, which is meteorologically defined as three straight hours below 32 degrees, kills adult mosquitoes. Its timing varies widely across Rhode Island. It often occurs in northern communities such as Burrillville in early October and in southern, ocean-facing communities later in the month.

DEM and RIDOH remind the public that the foundation of all risk reduction from mosquito-borne disease remains personal protection (mosquito repellent, long sleeves and pants, avoiding outdoor activities between dusk and dawn, repairing window and door screens, and dumping standing water). If possible, people should limit their time outdoors at sunrise and sunset. If they are going to be out, people should wear long sleeves and pants and use bug spray.

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Aerial anti- EEE mosquito spraying, which the state last conducted Sept. 25,  reduces the risk of mosquito-borne disease, but it does not eliminate the risk, DEM noted in a statement Friday.

Mosquito precautions

  • Aerial spraying is only one tool used to combat risk from mosquito-borne disease. The foundation of all risk reduction remains personal protection (mosquito repellent, long sleeves and pants, avoiding outdoor activities between dusk and dawn, repairing window and door screens, and dumping standing water).
  • If possible, people should limit their time outdoors at sunrise and sunset. If they are going to be out, people should wear long sleeves and pants and use bug spray. Aerial spraying effectively reduces the risk of mosquito-borne disease but if does not eliminate the risk completely.
  • Fewer mosquitoes are active as evening temperatures get cooler, but those mosquitoes that are active are more likely to be infected with EEE.
  • The risk from mosquito-borne disease will continue until the first hard frost.
Rob Borkowski
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Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of WarwickPost.com. Contact him at editor@warwickpost.com with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.