Mosquitoes in five R.I. towns including Westerly test positive for West Nile Virus

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Mosquitoes in five R.I. towns including Westerly test positive for West Nile Virus

Several towns in Rhode Island, including Westerly, have reported an alarming increase in mosquitoes testing positive for the West Nile Virus. The Department of Health confirmed the presence of the virus in these areas, raising concerns about public health and safety.

West Nile Virus detected in mosquito population

Recent mosquito surveillance conducted by health officials revealed the presence of the West Nile Virus in towns including Westerly, just over the border with Connecticut. The virus, which is primarily transmitted through mosquito bites, can cause serious illness in humans.

Public health officials express concerns

The Department of Health expressed deep concerns about the positive tests for West Nile Virus in these towns. Driven by the need to protect public health, officials are urging residents to take necessary precautions to reduce mosquito breeding and protect themselves from mosquito bites.

Importance of mosquito control measures

Mosquito control measures, such as eliminating standing water where mosquitoes breed, wearing protective clothing, and using insect repellent, are crucial in preventing the spread of the West Nile Virus. These precautions should be taken both indoors and outdoors to minimize the risk of mosquito-borne illnesses.

West Nile Virus symptoms and risks

The West Nile Virus can lead to serious complications, including neurological diseases such as encephalitis and meningitis. Symptoms may vary from mild flu-like symptoms to severe illness, particularly in individuals with weakened immune systems or underlying medical conditions. It is essential to take necessary precautions to reduce the risk of infection.

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Steps taken by local authorities

Local authorities have stepped up efforts to combat the spread of the West Nile Virus. Mosquito control programs have been intensified, with increased surveillance and insecticide application in high-risk areas. Additionally, public awareness campaigns have been launched to educate residents about the importance of mosquito control measures and the potential risks associated with the virus.

Stay informed and take necessary precautions

To stay informed about the West Nile Virus and related developments, residents are urged to follow updates from local health officials. Taking necessary precautions such as avoiding mosquito-infested areas during peak activity times (dawn and dusk), wearing long-sleeved clothing, and using mosquito repellents with EPA-registered ingredients can significantly reduce the risk of contracting the virus.


The presence of West Nile Virus in mosquitoes in towns including Westerly underscores the importance of proactive measures to control mosquito populations and prevent the spread of the virus. By following recommended guidelines and taking necessary precautions, both individuals and communities can mitigate the risk of West Nile Virus infection and protect public health.

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