RI’s First Line Of Defense Against Mosquito-Borne Diseases

Jun 26, 2017

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management is now conducting its weekly tests for mosquito-borne diseases. The updates begin every first of June and run through the end of September.

Rhode Island’s Mosquito Abatement Coordinator, Alan Gettman, says traps are set every Monday and collected every Tuesday.

The females -- the ones that bite and transmit diseases -- are packed in test tubes and sent to state Department of Health labs, where they are tested for the potentially deadly West Nile virus or Eastern Equine Encephalitis.

According to Gettman, it’s hard to forecast how many disease carrying mosquitos will find their way here any given season but rainfall can be a good indicator.

“Rainfall patterns and rainfall volumes that are ideal for making multiple crops of mosquitos might be summers that would yield higher than normal numbers of isolations of either virus,” Gettman said.

Residents can expect weekly updates either way. This past week? Gettman’s testing came back negative for diseases.