West Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus (EEEV) are both primarily bird viruses, which can be transmitted by several mosquito species. Differences in larval habitats, flight, and biting patterns of the primary vector species result in substantial differences in epidemiology, with WNV more common, primarily occurring in urban areas, and EEEV relatively rare, typically occurring near swamp habitats. The complex transmission ecology of these viruses complicates prediction of disease outbreaks. The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) and Department of Health (DoH) provide prevention assistance to towns and maintain a mosquito surveillance program to identify potential disease risk. Responses to potential outbreaks follow a protocol based on surveillance results, assessment of human risk, and technical consultation.
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Environmental management of mosquito-borne viruses in Rhode Island