Tuesday, November 12, 2019        

Mosquito-Borne Illness Prevention at Athletic Facilities – UPDATED

October 17, 2019
Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus (EEEV) – Update from Smithfield EMA
With guidance from the Rhode Island Department of Health, the “No Outdoor Activities after 6:30/Dusk” precaution that was set into place to prevent human infection from East Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus and West Nile Virus (WNV) can be suspended as temperatures continue to fall.
Though we have not yet experienced the hard frost, which effectively eliminates the remaining mosquito population, environmental and health officials indicate that as temperatures fall back to 58 degrees and below, mosquito activity is lowered, limiting the chances of being bitten by an infected mosquito. Mosquito activity almost stops completely at temperatures below 50 degrees. With this guidance and in conjunction with the long-term (10 day) forecast, daily high temperatures are expected to range between 50 degrees and the low 60s and the daily low temperature range is expected between the low 50s and mid-40s for the Smithfield area. During this part of autumn, temperatures begin to fall as the sun sets bringing forecasted temperatures at or below the 58 degree threshold.
Though scheduling afternoon and evening activities may resume, this is not an “all-clear” signal. It continues to be highly recommended that applying an EPA approved insect repellent and covering exposed skin when outdoors to prevent insect bites continue until the mosquito population is eliminated by a hard frost.
Even with these adjustments, our response to this season’s mosquito-borne illness continues and Emergency Management remains in close contact with state health and environmental officials.
Todd Manni
Director of Emergency Management
Town of Smithfield


Mosquito-Borne Illness Prevention at Athletic Facilities

Due to the recent illnesses and detection of mosquitoes carrying Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile Virus (WNV) within the state and region, all town outdoor athletic facilities will close at 6:30PM or dusk (which ever comes first) for town youth recreation leagues.

EEE and WNV are spread through the bites of infected mosquitoes. Upon the advice of state health and environmental officials, the town is closing all outdoor athletic facilities for youth recreation leagues at 6:30 or dusk (should dusk come sooner). This closing is intended to avoid the time period when mosquitoes are most active. Additional steps to take in reducing exposure to the virus when outdoors include encouraging athletes to wear an EPA-registered insect repellent that includes contains DEET, Picaridin (known as KBR 3023 and picaridin outside the US), IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), Para-menthane-diol (PMD), and/or 2-undecanone. Insect repellent should be re-applied every four ours. Athletes and spectators alike are also reminded to cover exposed skin to limit mosquito bites. Lastly, open water containers/cups should be emptied and properly disposed of to prevent additional spots where mosquitoes can lay eggs.

The town continues to make every effort to limit the population of mosquitoes that potentially carry serious illnesses spread by mosquitoes. The town has placed larvicide in storm drains in an effort to disrupt mosquito breeding grounds. These efforts are effective in reducing the mosquito population; it does not eliminate the threat of mosquitoes carrying these viruses. We will closely monitor conditions and advice from state environmental and health experts as we work to protect the public’s health.

Randy Rossi, Town Manager
Todd Manni, Director of Emergency Management
Robert Caine, Director of Parks & Recreation

Mosquito-Borne Illness Prevention at Athletic Facilities sign