Aerial spraying to reduce the spread of mosquitos does not appear to be part of any town plan following a positive test result for EEE … at least not yet.
On Friday afternoon, the director of the Barrington Department of Public Works, Alan Corvi, said he was not aware of any plan to begin spraying for mosquitos in town. A day earlier, state officials issued a press release stating that a mosquito trapped in central Barrington had tested positive for EEE — Eastern Equine Encephalitis.
Mr. Corvi said the town does maintain a mosquito control program; during the warm weather months the DPW places larvicide tablets in different areas across town. Mr. Corvi added that news of the EEE test result was still relatively young and was not sure whether state officials were considering aerial spraying in Barrington.
The positive EEE finding came from mosquitoes trapped by DEM staff on Sept. 5 and tested at the RI Department of Health (HEALTH) laboratory. The results were confirmed Thursday.
According to Alan Gettman, Ph.D., DEM’s mosquito abatement coordinator, the positive results were not unexpected and confirm that there are infected mosquitoes in the environment. Therefore, all Rhode Islanders should take extra care to protect themselves, particularly when mosquito-biting activity is high. Personal protection is the first line of defense against mosquitoes that can carry diseases such as West Nile Virus and EEE and is by far the most effective way of avoiding infection.
People should routinely use mosquito repellent and cover up when mosquito-biting activity is greatest. They should place mosquito netting over playpens and carriages outside, and be sure that screens are in good repair. Mosquito repellent should contain no more than 30 percent DEET, and it should not be used on infants.