GLOCESTER – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management found the state’s first case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus so far this year after testing a mosquito from Glocester.
RIDEM said the mosquito sample was taken in town on Monday, Aug. 21.
A separate mosquito sample, collected in Barrington the same day, tested positive for West Nile Virus marking the fourth finding of West Nile in Rhode Island this year.
EEE is extremely rare in humans, but around 30 percent of people who contract the virus die, and many survivors have ongoing neurological problems.
RIDEM noted that the EEE risk in the state is variable from year to year. With continued trapping and testing, DEM and the Rhode Island Department of Health assess the EEE risk level during mosquito season.
Mosquitoes are trapped weekly by DEM and tested at the RIDOH State Health Laboratories. DEM issues advisories on test results from June through September, with additional reports as necessary. Typically, positive test results trigger additional trapping to assess risk.
Neither Massachusetts nor Connecticut has reported any findings of EEE in mosquitoes, humans, or animals.
For more information on EEE and ways to prevent it, see RIDOH’s fact sheet.