PROVIDENCE, R.I. \u2014 With a higher-than-average incidence of EEE in both southeastern Massachusetts and eastern Connecticut this summer, the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) and the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) encourage all Rhode Islanders to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites including limiting time outdoors.\n\nDEM and RIDOH recently announced that mosquito samples collected in Central Falls on Aug. 6 produced the state's first positive findings of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE).\n\nA positive finding for a mosquito-borne disease does not mean anyone has contracted the disease, but it does highlight the need to take precautions. People have the most important role to play in protecting themselves and their loved ones from being bitten by mosquitoes. Using repellent, wearing long sleeves and pants, and minimizing outdoor time from dusk to dawn \u2013 peak biting times for many mosquitoes \u2013 all are excellent precautions.\n\nA total of 28 traps were set across Rhode Island on August 5. The traps yielded 147 pools, or samples, of mosquitoes collected statewide. Pools collected in Central Falls contained two separate mosquito species that are known to bite mammals and tested positive for EEE. None of the 147 pools came back positive for West Nile Virus (WNV). Test results are pending for traps set yesterday, August 14, and will be included in future announcements. Typically, positive test results trigger additional trapping to assess risk.\n\nTo date, there have been no findings of WNV in Rhode Island. The 265 positive EEE mosquito pools in Massachusetts from Bristol and Plymouth counties, coupled with multiple findings of both EEE and WNV in mosquitoes from eastern Connecticut, indicate this clearly is a higher-than-average risk summer for mosquito-borne diseases. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts announced August 10 its first human case of EEE. Aerial spraying began in the commonwealth last week. Mosquito-borne virus isolations are more prevalent during late summer and early fall. DEM traps mosquitoes and the RIDOH State Health Laboratories test them weekly. DEM issues advisories on test results from late June through September, with additional reports as needed.\n\nThere are measures that all Rhode Islanders should take to protect themselves from mosquito bites, and to help minimize mosquito breeding.\n\nProtect yourself\n\n\u2022 Put screens on windows and doors. Fix screens that are loose or have holes.\n\n\u2022 At sunrise and sundown (when mosquitoes that carry EEE are most active), minimize outside activities. If you must be outside, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants and use bug spray.\n\n\u2022 Use EPA-approved bug spray with one of the following active ingredients: DEET (20-30% strength); picaridin, IR3535; and oil of lemon eucalyptus or paramenthane. Always read the label and follow all directions and precautions.\n\n\u2022 Do not use bug spray with DEET on infants under two months of age. Children should be careful not to rub their eyes after bug spray has been applied on their skin. Wash children's hands with soap and water to remove any bug spray when they return indoors.\n\n\u2022 Put mosquito netting over playpens and baby carriages.\n\n\u2022 Get rid of mosquito breeding grounds\n\n\u2022 Get rid of anything around your house and yard that collects water. Just one cup of water can produce hundreds of mosquitoes; an unused tire containing water can produce thousands of mosquitoes.\n\n\u2022 Clean your gutters and down spouts so that they can drain properly.\n\n\u2022 Remove any water from unused swimming pools, wading pools, boats, planters, trash and recycling bins, tires, and anything else that collects water, and cover them.\n\n\u2022 Remove or treat any shallow water that can accumulate on top of a pool cover. Larvicide treatments, such as Mosquito Dunks can be applied to kill immature mosquitoes. This environmentally-friendly product is available at many hardware and garden stores and on-line.\n\n\u2022 Change the water in birdbaths at least two times a week and rinse out birdbaths once a week.\n\nVisit http:\/\/www.health.ri.gov\/mosquito for additional mosquito prevention tips, videos, and local data.