Mosquito-Borne Disease Information for Healthcare Providers

The Department of Health is committed to helping physicians appropriately diagnosis West Nile Virus and other mosquito borne diseases. We conduct seasonal surveillance for West Nile Virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and other arboviral neuroinvasive disease.

What You Should Do

  • Maintain a high index of suspicion for an arboviral disease, especially among the elderly and immuno-suppressed individuals who are at higher risk for the neuroinvasive disease.
  • Report (during peak adult mosquito season from June through October) suspected diagnosis of any patient you are attending with clinical diagnosis of:
    • Viral Encephalitis
    • Aseptic or suspect viral meningitis (CSF pleocytosis of 10 cells or more) in persons 17 years of age or older
    • Guillain - Barré syndrome
  • Refer to Clinical Specimen Submission Guidance before submitting arboviral testing to the State Health Laboratory. All Rhode Island licensed hospital and commercial labs have systems in place to handle and transport such specimens.
  • Monitor (but do not report to the state laboratory for diagnostic testing) mild, non neuro-invasive illness such as fever, headache, and a history of mosquito bites. Order such outpatient tests to a commercial laboratory.

What We Do

A nurse from the Division of Infectious Disease will track specimens from cases (CSF, acute, and convalescent sera) and assure transfer to the State Health Laboratory. Free testing will be done at the laboratory for patients who meet the above criteria. Positive results on the arbovirus panel testing (IgM on serum and/or CSF) will be communicated by phone to the ordering physician in five days.


  • Division of Infectious Disease
    401-222-2488 (fax)