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EEE Found in Barrington Mosquitoes

RI Department of Environmental Management finds Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in mosquito pool in central Barrington; personal protection urged.

Test results from one mosquito pool, or sample, from a trap set in central Barrington has been confirmed positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), the Department of Environmental Management announced this afternoon.

Central Barrington was described by Gail Mastrati, a DEM spokesperson, as the area that includes the Town Hall and the central business area.

It is the fourth time this year that EEE has been positively identified in Rhode Island.  The positive EEE result was from a Culiseta species that feeds almost exclusively on birds, Mastrati said.

The positive EEE finding came from mosquitoes trapped by DEM staff on Sept. 5 and tested at the RI Department of Health (HEALTH) laboratory. The results were confirmed today, Mastrati said.

Alan Gettman, DEM's mosquito abatement coordinator, said in a press release that the positive results were not unexpected and confirm that there are infected mosquitoes in the environment. Therefore, all Rhode Islanders should take extra care to protect themselves, particularly when mosquito-biting activity is high. 

Personal protection is the first line of defense against mosquitoes that can carry diseases such as West Nile Virus and EEE and is by far the most effective way of avoiding infection.

People should routinely use mosquito repellent and cover up when mosquito-biting activity is greatest. They should place mosquito netting over playpens and carriages outside, and be sure that screens are in good repair. Mosquito repellent should contain no more than 30 percent DEET, and it should not be used on infants. 

Because horses are susceptible to West Nile Virus and EEE, Rhode Island horse owners should consult with their veterinarians to determine if their horses are properly vaccinated against both diseases and take measures to control and prevent mosquito exposure. Those controls should include: removing or covering all areas where standing water can collect; applying mosquito larvicide in appropriate locations; and avoiding turning animals outside at dawn, dusk and during the night when mosquitoes are most active. Horse owners should insect-proof facilities where possible; use approved repellants frequently; monitor animals for symptoms of fever, in-coordination, stumbling and neurological signs; and report all suspicious cases to a veterinarian immediately.

This year, to date in Rhode Island, four pools of mosquitoes have tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis and three pools have tested positive for West Nile Virus. 

Mosquitoes in Rhode Island are trapped every week statewide by DEM staff and tested at the RI Department of Health laboratory. DEM will normally report mosquito test results once a week on a routine basis, with additional reports as necessary. Routine test results from the remaining 150 pools of mosquitoes trapped on Sept. 5 will be included in next week's announcement. 

For online information about mosquito-borne diseases, go to DEM's website, www. dem.ri.gov, and click on “Public Health Updates,” or go to the HEALTH website, www.health.ri.gov, and click on “E” (Eastern Equine Encephalitis) or “W” (West Nile Virus) under “Health Topics.”

kim anderson September 14, 2012 at 10:33 AM
Please do not use DEET - it is highly toxic, especially for children. "Why should D.E.E.T be used with caution? It's been shown that this chemical can have damaging effects on brain cells. After frequent and prolonged use, neurons have died in regions of the brain that control muscle movement, memory, concentration, and learning. Insect repellents containing D.E.E.T should never be used on infants. Hesitate to use these on children too since they are more likely to have brain changes caused by chemicals within their environment. Their skin also more readily absorbs these chemicals. Be sure not to use other insecticides in conjunction with D.E.E.T. Be aware that even over-the-counter medications can interact with D.E.E.T and cause toxic effects. Catnip is nearly 10 times more effective at repelling mosquitoes than D.E.E.T. Results from tests done have shown effective when put on items such as tents and clothing." http://voices.yahoo.com/whats-more-dangerous-blood-sucking-mosquitoes-bug-442096.html Ava Anderson Non Toxic has an organic natural bug spray that works. www.AvaAndersonNonToxic.com, stop by our office at 130 Franklin Street, Warren or visit the booth at the White Church farmers market tomorrow.
Manifold Witness September 14, 2012 at 11:32 AM
Thanks, Kim! There has not been anything about EEE on the Barrington website. Other towns (Portsmouth, South Kingstown) are proactively responding to this threat to health, welfare, safety (see below). “Health”, “welfare”, “safety”….hey those are the same words June recited in hollow, naked support of her proposed plastic bag ban. But what about the EEE? Maybe something more than a hollow recitation is warranted even though a prudent response to EEE is not necessarily a springboard to tenure or higher office. “The Town of Portsmouth is proactive with its mosquito abatement program, placing an environmentally benign product in catch basins and various bodies of water to kill mosquito larvae. But YOU can help! Please read the following excerpts from URI's "GreenShare" factsheet written by Kristen Bartlett about mosquitoes: The town of Portsmouth, with permission from RIDEM, sprayed for adult mosquitoes using a broad spectrum adulticide, Anvil 10+ 10- ULV, on August 23, 2012 on Norseman, Viking, Valhalla and the Common Fence and Island Park neighborhoods.” http://www.southkingstownri.com/dem-announces-eee-south-kingstown-recommends-residents-remain-vigilant-and-take-precautions
Bob and Audrey Sprague September 15, 2012 at 12:39 AM
You need to look right in your back yard for the best NONTOXIC bug spray on the market - and it is right in your back yard - Franklin Street, Warren RI - and recommended by the Environmental Working Group! Go to www.avaandersonnontoxic.com and order it - you will have it the next day!

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