PROVIDENCE – EEE and other mosquito-borne diseases remain a risk even as a October temperatures continue to fall, with a EEE-positive mosquito population confirmed in South Kingstown Oct. 7
The Department of Environmental Management (DEM) and Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) announced Friday that in the latest round of mosquito surveillance, one sample of mosquitoes trapped in South Kingstown tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). DEM set traps on October 7, submitting 52 samples to the RIDOH State Health Laboratory. The lab confirmed a EEE detection in a South Kingstown in one sample of mosquitoes.
All other samples tested negative for both EEE and West Nile Virus (WNV).
Since no additional aerial spraying is planned for 2019, DEM and RIDOH urge the public to continue protecting themselves and their loved ones 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.
- 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.