Monday, Oct. 7, 2003
Outdoor Events Update
Due to continued alerts from the R.I. Departments of Health and Department of Environmental Management regarding outdoor public assemblies that occur at times of high mosquito biting activity, the University has cancelled the Homecoming bonfire event, originally scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 9 at 5:30 p.m. on the Quadrangle.
Other outdoor Homecoming events scheduled for late afternoon and evening have also been cancelled. These events included fireworks, music and food at Keaney Plaza.
Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2003
Outdoor Events Update
The University has rescheduled all evening men's and women's soccer games during October to start at 3:30 p.m., the first of which is a Mens Atlantic 10 soccer game scheduled in Kingston for Friday, October 3.
All practices and other outdoor activities will not be held prior to 7 a.m. and must be completed by 6 p.m.
This practice will be in effect until safety restrictions are lifted. Officials from the Rhode Island Departments of Health and Department of Environmental Management have recommended that outdoor public assemblies in Washington County that occur at times of high mosquito biting activity be rescheduled, relocated, or, if necessary, canceled.
KINGSTON, R.I. Monday, September 29, 2003 -- Officials from the Rhode Island Departments of Health and Department of Environmental Management are recommending that outdoor public assemblies in Washington County that occur at times of high mosquito biting activity be rescheduled, relocated, or, if necessary, canceled.
The University is in the process of rescheduling its early evening athletic competitions and practices, the first of which is a Mens Atlantic 10 soccer game scheduled in Kingston for Friday, October 3. Announcements will be made regarding the rescheduling of athletic or other events at the Kingston Campus. For updated information, check the website at www.uri.edu, call (401)-874-NEWS or 874-1000.
People should routinely use mosquito repellent, and cover up when mosquito biting activity is greatest, particularly at dusk and dawn.
DEM has advised that all residents and visitors to Washington County should step up personal protection from mosquito bites and consider restricting or curtailing outdoor activities when biting activity is high. By this time in the season, risk of infection is at its peak, although biting activity is beginning to decline with the onset of cooler weather.
The Department of Environmental Management on Friday received test results showing that three additional pools from Westerly and South Kingstown tested positive for mosquitoes with Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and one pool in South Kingstown tested positive for West Nile Virus. All four were of the species Culex pipiens, which primarily bite birds but sometimes bite humans and other mammals.
The positive results are additional confirmation of mosquito-borne disease in the environment. When combined with previous findings of EEE-positive mosquito pools in the southern part of Rhode Island, as well as in Connecticut and Massachusetts, the results indicate a higher than average risk year for EEE.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms of EEE virus range from mild, flu-like illness to encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) leading to coma and death in 35 percent of cases.
Biting activity depends on several conditions. During the day it decreases in sunny areas at lower temperatures and increases in shady areas at higher temperatures. Biting activity also generally increases with high humidity and with low wind.
In Westerly, the mosquitoes were collected from one trap in the downtown area and from one trap in the area of Chapman Swamp. In South Kingstown, an EEE-positive mosquito pool was collected from a trap in the Perryville area, at the site of an earlier capture, and a mosquito with West Nile Virus was collected from a trap in a pool in the Matunuck area.
Although Washington County is showing higher than usual numbers of pools containing mosquitoes contaminated with EEE, and people in that area of the state should take extra precautions, it is important for all Rhode Islanders to continue to protect themselves against mosquito bites, since mosquito-borne disease, particularly West Nile Virus, is prevalent throughout the state.
To date, in Rhode Island, eight mosquito pools in two communities have tested positive for EEE, and two horses and one emu have died of the disease. Four pools in four communities have tested positive for mosquitoes with West Nile Virus, the Department of Health has reported two human cases of the disease, and DEM has tallied more than 600 West-Nile-suspect birds from throughout the state.