By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
Rhode Island health officials are reporting a human Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) case in a resident from West Warwick.
This is the first human EEE case in the state since 2010.
This announcement comes a day after the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) issued an announcement about a horse in Westerly that had tested positive for the disease. Over the past few weeks, mosquitoes carrying the disease have been found in Westerly and Central Falls.
“In Rhode Island, we have confirmed EEE in both a horse and a human, which indicates that there is a high risk for transmission of disease to humans through mosquito bites,” said Ana Novais, Deputy Director of RIDOH. “EEE is a rare, but very serious disease. We strongly recommend that people everywhere in Rhode Island protect themselves and their families by using insect repellent, minimizing outdoor exposure at dusk and dawn, and wearing long sleeves and pants when outdoors at those times. People must also reduce opportunities for mosquitoes to breed by eliminating standing water around their homes.”
The Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is adding traps to capture and test more mosquitoes statewide in response to the elevated risk.
The state is taking all necessary preparations for conducting aerial spraying to kill adult biting mosquitoes. RIDOH and DEM are actively evaluating options and will continue to provide updates. The state will release a spraying schedule before any spraying occurs.