Rhode Island’s department of health director doctor Michael Fine plans to brief state lawmakers Wednesday on the state of the state’s health.
Fine will update lawmakers on the state’s progress on certain health indicators. Smoking rates are down to about 17 percent. New cases of HIV are falling. But since his last briefing for the General Assembly, Fine said, the needle hasn’t moved in the right direction on another major health challenge – drug addiction and overdose.
“Drug overdose death is what’s keeping us up at night. That’s our single biggest slippage," said Fine.
An Exeter man has been treated for the first human case of West Nile in Rhode Island this year.
The Rhode Island Department of Health said the 33-year-old Exeter man first started developing symptoms on September 11. Two days later he was at South County Hospital, diagnosed with viral meningitis caused by West Nile Virus. He was released a few days later and is recovering at home.