Rhode Island mosquitoes test positive for West Nile Virus

Faith Castro
August 17, 2017

Confirmation of the first West Nile virus positive bird means the virus is circulating between birds and mosquitoes and there is heightened risk of infection in humans.

Since 2005, 56 people in Contra Costa County have been diagnosed with West Nile virus. Some of those mosquitoes were found to be carrying the virus.

The vector district asks that dead birds be reported to the state hotline at 1-877-968-2473, or by using the California Department of Public Health's website.

"This time of year, we could possibly see a growing number of human cases of West Nile virus infection and positive mosquito samples throughout the state", said ODH State Epidemiologist and Bureau Chief of Infectious Disease Sietske de Fijter.

No human cases were found in Mahoning and Columbiana counties.

Public health suggests wearing a long-sleeved shirt and trousers, especially in mosquito-prone areas, as well as wearing bug repellent containing DEET.

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The pool which tested positive was collected August 7 and contained the species of mosquito that bite both birds and humans, health officials said. Most people who become infected with West Nile virus do not have any symptoms. Birds often are the first sign of transmission of West Nile virus or other diseases.

Symptoms may include headaches, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or a rash.

· Wear shoes, socks, long trousers and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors for long periods, or when mosquitoes are more active.

Light colors are least attractive to mosquitoes.

· Consider the use of mosquito repellent, according to directions, when it is necessary to be outdoors.

Residents should also clean and empty water holding containers like bird baths, wading pools, pet water dishes and children's toys, which could be breeding ground for mosquitoes.

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