Rhode Island officials say for the first time this season, mosquitoes have tested positive for the Eastern equine encephalitis virus.
The state environmental management department says the virus was found in samples collected in Pawtucket, Warren and East Providence on June 11.
Alan Gettman, the state’s mosquito abatement coordinator, says it’s unusual to find the virus this early. He says mosquito samples from the same areas tested negative last week.
The department urges people to prevent mosquito bites by using repellent, putting inspect netting over strollers, wearing long sleeves and pants, repairing holes in window screens and eliminating mosquito breeding grounds.
Rhode Island also tests mosquitoes for West Nile virus, which has not yet been found.
Connecticut and Massachusetts reported finding West Nile virus in mosquito samples this week.