Rhode Island officials are warning that Eastern equine encephalitis has been found in mosquitoes in the state for the first time this year.
The state Department of Environmental Management said Wednesday that a sample of mosquitoes collected August 1 in Chapman Swamp in Westerly tested positive for the disease.
The agency says the finding is not unexpected. The positive mosquito pool is a species that primarily bites birds and is largely responsible for maintaining the virus in the bird population. There are no confirmed human cases of Eastern equine encephalitis in Rhode Island.
West Nile virus also was found in mosquitoes in the state last week. It has also been detected in mosquitoes in Massachusetts and Connecticut.
Mosquitoes are trapped weekly by DEM and tested from late June through September.