mosquitoes

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Here's what's happening in health in Rhode Island. (Note: Your Weekly Briefing will be on vacation next week.)

Rhode Island Keeps Tabs on Zika

Aug 5, 2016
Cynthia Goldsmith / CDC

The Rhode Island Health Department has confirmed 18 cases of Zika virus -- a disease linked to a severe birth defect called microcephaly. The National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report all of the Rhode Island cases were contracted outside of state lines. The mosquito known to carry Zika in Florida is not established in Rhode Island. However, the state may be at risk for another mosquito which also carries the virus. "We do know that isolated mosquitos have been found here. And...

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Mosquitos?
First, don't panic. The mosquitoes that carry Zika haven't been found in Rhode Island. Yet. I say "yet" because it's a possibility they could arrive some day. Also, if there's someone in the area with Zika who gets bitten by a mosquito, that mosquito could conceivably (although the chances are low) bite you. Even though the odds of catching Zika here are low, the odds of catching other mosquito-borne illnesses (like West Nile) are higher, so it's wise to protect yourself and...

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) convenes federal and state public health experts today to talk about Rhode Island’s Zika prevention plan. One of the goals is to prepare as mosquito season approaches. Infectious disease experts from the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control will join Rhode Island’s health, environment and emergency officials, as well as local infectious disease experts. The goal is to discuss the state’s plans to educate the public about Zika virus and...

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A Massachusetts resident has reportedly returned from a trip to South America infected with the mosquito-borne Zika virus. But is there a risk to Rhode Island? Zika has sickened more than a million Brazilians since May, and may be the cause – although it’s not certain yet – of a serious birth defect. But Hasbro children’s hospital infectious disease specialist Michael Smit,MD says it’s too early to panic about that kind of outbreak in North America. “Well, there’s no cause for undue alarm at...

First Case Of West Nile Of The Season Found In South County

Aug 21, 2015
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After the discovery of West Nile Virus in a pool of mosquitos in South Kingstown, state officials say the virus is much more widespread. The disease usually causes only mild flu-like symptoms. But, in a small number of cases, it can lead to more serious illness. Alan Gettman heads the state’s mosquito abatement program. “Citizens need to think about a report like this as meaning that the virus is established all over the state, and there’s not a hot spot that we’ve detected,” said Gettman....

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The town of Westerly plans to spray for mosquitoes Friday. Helicopters will drop granules of mosquito larvicide on about 500 acres in Chapman Swamp. Department of Environmental Management officials say the larvicide is a naturally occurring bacteria that's harmless to humans and the environment. It stops larvae from maturing into adult mosquitoes. Mosquitoes carrying a virus called Eastern Equine Encephalitis have been found a couple of times in Chapman Swamp according to the DEM. The...

Test results from two mosquito pools in Rhode Island have come back positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis. This is the second time EEE has been confirmed in the state this year. The samples came from traps set in Tiverton and Westerly. The Department of Environmental Management says the findings aren’t surprising for this time of year, and it’s likely that EEE is present in other parts of the state. Furthermore, two mosquito pools in Tiverton and Hopkinton have confirmed positive results...

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The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management has announced the first finding of West Nile Virus in mosquitoes in the state this year. The department routinely checks mosquitoes for both West Nile Virus, and Eastern Equine Encephalitis starting in the late spring. Alan Getman of the DEM said West Nile Virus has been in Rhode Island for twelve years, and today’s reappearance was not unexpected. “You know the message today is a reminder to Rhode Islanders that it’s that time of year...

Rhode Island’s Department of Environmental Management is encouraging residents to protect themselves during mosquito season. The Department of Environmental Management says that the test results from all 180 mosquito pools from 33 traps set statewide during the week of July 8 th are negative for both West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis. So far this year, no mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile Virus or EEE in Rhode Island. During mosquito season, the DEM suggests that...

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A Rhode Island Hospital neurologist says there’s evidence that early, aggressive treatment can help the unlucky few who catch Eastern Equine Encephalitis each year in the United States. Neurointensivist (a neurologist with additional training in intensive neurological conditions) Dr. Linda Wendell has published an account of the hospital’s successful treatment of a young man with EEE. He’s doing remarkably well. He only has mild memory difficulties," said Wendell. "And he’s essentially been...

Or, rather, summer activities, like swimming, or hiking through the woods. To wit: So far, 45 people have come down with bloody diarrhea after swimming in a lake in Burrillville, RI. Several needed hospitalizing, including some children. And just a couple of years ago, a young man just happened to get bitten by the one mosquito carrying eastern equine encephalitis in Rhode Island (tests for EEE in mosquitoes have all turned up negative so far this year in RI, by the way) and, were it not for...