Exeter man treated for West Nile virus infection

A 33-year-old year Exeter resident was treated for West Nile virus in what Rhode Island health officials said Tuesday was the state's first human case of the virus this year.

The man was diagnosed with viral meningitis caused by West Nile virus after developing symptoms on Sept. 11. He was admitted to South County Hospital Sept. 13 and was discharged Sept. 17. He is now recovering at home.

"This is yet another reminder that this is the time of year when there are infected mosquitoes and Rhode Islanders are at increased risk for exposure to mosquito-borne illnesses like West Nile Virus," health director Dr. Health Michael Fine said in a statement. "It is imperative that anyone who spends a lot of time outside to use safeguards against mosquitoes."

The virus had already been identified in mosquitoes in Rhode Island this year. Human cases have been reported in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Fine said the virus poses a greater threat this time of year. People are urged to use repellent and cover up when outdoors at dusk and dawn.