Langevin and Local Officials Discuss West Nile Virus

May 31, 2001
(WARWICK, RI)-Congressman Jim Langevin today hosted a forum entitled: West Nile Virus Update: Emerging Issues and Technologies in his Warwick, Rhode Island, District Office.  Langevin was joined by a number of local academics, health officials and environmentalists as they engaged in a wide-ranging discussion on the mosquito-borne illness.

  Langevin was be joined by Uptala Bandy, M.D. MPH, Rhode Island Department of Health; Greg Hayes, DrPH, Rhode Island Department of Health; Ken Ayars, DEM; Al Getman, DEM; Malcom Grant, DEM; Roger LeBrun, PhD, URI; Thomas Mather, URI; Howie Ginsburg, URI; Bruce Witgon, American Biophysics Corporation; and John Torgan, Save the Bay.

 “As the summer months fast approach, it is important for all Rhode Islanders to be aware of dangers associated with West Nile Virus,” said Congressman Langevin.  “I convened this forum to engage in an open dialogue regarding West Nile Virus: its causes, treatments and preventative measures Rhode Islanders can take to enjoy a healthy summer.  Armed with awareness and facts, Rhode Islanders can enjoy all the state has to offer during the summer months.”

 Mosquitoes become infected with West Nile Virus after feeding on infected birds.  Infected mosquitoes can then transmit the virus through bites to both humans and animals.  In the New York area during the summer of 1999, 7 humans contracted the virus and died.  Over 10,000 crows, as well as small numbers of horses and other animals, were found dead as a result of this virus, which causes inflammation of the brain.

 The CDC offers a number of preventative measures, which focus on halting the reproduction efforts of mosquitoes.  The CDC recommends removing standing water where mosquitoes may develop into flying adults, treating swimming pools with appropriate chemicals, and applying mosquito repellent before spending time outdoors.