DEM, DOH REPORT FIRST FINDING OF WEST NILE VIRUS IN MOSQUITO SAMPLE

Public Reminded to Guard against Mosquito Bites

 

PROVIDENCE - The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) and the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) today announced a mosquito sample collected on August 7 in Warren has tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV). This is the first finding of WNV in Rhode Island this year. The positive mosquito pool is a species that can bite both birds and humans. The remaining 105 mosquito samples from traps set on Monday, August 7 have tested negative for both WNV and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). 

 

The positive finding is not unexpected. Mosquito-borne diseases are more prevalent in late summer and early fall, and risk typically lasts until the first frost.  Personal protection is the first line of defense against mosquitoes that may carry WNV, EEE, or other diseases – and the most effective way to avoid infection.  Throughout the summer season, the public is encouraged to:

 

·        Remove anything around your house and yard that collects water; just one cup of water can produce hundreds of mosquitoes.

·        Clean gutters and downspouts to ensure proper drainage, and repair holes in window screens.

·        Remove any water from unused swimming pools, wading pools, boats, planters, trash and recycling bins, tires, and anything else that collects water, and cover them.

·        Change the water in birdbaths at least two times a week, and rinse out birdbaths once a week.

·        Use EPA-approved bug spray with one of the following active ingredients: DEET (20-30% strength), picaridin, IR3535, and oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol. Do not use bug spray on infants under 1 year of age.

·        Minimize outdoor activity at dawn and at dusk when mosquitoes are most active.

·        Put insect netting over strollers and playpens.

·        Wear long sleeves and long pants whenever possible, particularly if you are outdoors during dawn and dusk.

 

To date, in Rhode Island, there have been three findings of EEE in mosquito samples and one finding of WNV. There are no confirmed human cases of EEE in Rhode Island.  However, because summer and fall are peak seasons for mosquito-borne disease transmission to people, Rhode Islanders should be aware of the symptoms of EEE. Severe cases of EEE (involving encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain) begin with the sudden onset of headache, high fever, chills, and vomiting. If you think you or a family member may have EEE, it is important to consult your healthcare provider for proper diagnosis.

 

Horses are particularly susceptible to WNV and EEE. Horse owners are advised to vaccinate their animals early in the season and practice the following: 

 

·        Remove or cover areas where standing water can collect.

·        Avoid putting animals outside at dawn, dusk or during the night when mosquitoes are most active.

·        Insect proof facilities where possible and use approved repellants frequently.

·        Monitor animals for symptoms of fever and/or neurological signs (such as stumbling, depression, loss of appetite) and report all suspicious cases to a veterinarian immediately.  If you are unsure if your horse is properly vaccinated you should consult with your veterinarian.

·        Horses are the most susceptible domestic animal, but other, less common species such as ratites (emus, ostriches, etc.) and camelids (alpacas and llamas) are occasionally infected. Owners of ratites and camelids should consult with their veterinarian regarding vaccination of their particular animals. 

 

Mosquitoes are trapped weekly by DEM and tested at the RIDOH State Health Laboratories. The RIDOH State Health Laboratories have recently changed their testing methodology to use a more sensitive testing method which may account for an increase in positive results going forward.  DEM issues advisories on test results from late June through September, with additional reports as necessary. Test results are pending for traps set on August 15, and will be included in future announcements.  Typically positive mosquito test results will trigger additional trapping to assess risk. 

 

Visit health.ri.gov/mosquito for additional mosquito prevention tips and for local data.  For more information about DEM divisions and programs, visitwww.dem.ri.gov.  Follow us on Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM) and/or Facebook atwww.facebook.com/RhodeIslandDEM for timely updates.

 

-30-

 

 

 

The government's plan to reunify families that were separated at the border is getting an approval by a federal judge. U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw said today in San Diego that she "wholeheartedly" approves of the government's plan and they should move "full speed ahead." Government attorneys pointed out that Sabraw's injunction does not require the return of any deported parents to the country. The American Civil Liberties Union had asked for that.       The judge in the Paul Manafort tax and bank fraud Paul Manafort case is getting federal protection after saying he's received threats. Judge T.S. Ellis said he also won't release the names of the 12-member jury because he's concerned about their safety. The judge didn't release any details about the threats.        Sixty former intelligence officers sent a letter to President Trump telling him America is less safe if politics is deciding who gets a national security clearance and who does not. Trump revoked the credentials of former CIA Director John Brennan yesterday and today he admitted politics was the reason. Many of the people signing the letter said they disagree with Brennan's views, but they are concerned when former officials lose their clearance because of political retaliation.       The man convicted for killing five people and injuring six others at a Fort Lauderdale airport mass shooting is going to jail for a long time. Twenty-eight-year-old Esteban Santiago was sentenced to five life terms plus 120 years for the January 2017 attack. The Alaska man retrieved a handgun from his checked bag, then loaded it in a bathroom before randomly firing it in a crowded terminal.        A decorated Special Forces soldier is in trouble today after his two backpacks came back to the United States with 90 pounds of cocaine in it. Army Master Sergeant Daniel Gould vacationed in Columbia the week before and returned to the U.S. without the bags. Officials are trying to learn if the person who put the backpacks on the plane knew what was inside or not. Solving a Rubik's Cube is hard, but many have done it. No one has done six of them while holding their breath under water until now. An 18-year-old boy in the country of Georgia accomplished the feat in an effort to break the Guinness world record. Vako Marchelashvili did all six underwater in one minute and 44 seconds.