West Nile detected in Providence mosquitoes - News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England

West Nile detected in Providence mosquitoes

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PROVIDENCE -

West Nile virus has been detected in Rhode Island for the first time this year.

The Department of Environmental Management and Department of Health said Wednesday that mosquitoes collected on July 29 in Providence's Smith Hill area tested positive for the disease. The pool of 28 mosquitoes is a species that can bite both birds and humans.

Al Gettman of the DEM told NBC 10 that they don't plan on spraying in Providence.

"To spray as a regular response doesn't make sense. It would be an assault on the environment," he said.

Gettman said the state doesn't spray pre-emptively either. Instead, it takes other preseason precautions.

"For 13 years now, the state has been using benign larvicide that kills the immature stage and we give that to the Public Works Department in the spring and summer and for catch basins," he said.

The virus is being increasingly detected in mosquitoes in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Eastern equine encephalitis has not been found in Rhode Island yet this year, but it too has been detected in both neighboring states.

No human cases of West Nile or EEE have been reported in Rhode Island this season.

However in New Bedford, city officials said Wednesday they'll be spraying for mosquitoes Friday in several neighborhoods.

NBC 10 contributed to this report.

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