PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) - Several local communities on are high alert over the rising threat of mosquito-borne illnesses.
This week, mosquitoes infected with West Nile Virus were discovered in Providence and Fall River, just weeks after the virus was detected in mosquitoes in Westerly.
Mosquito experts say some were found in the Smith Hill section of Providence carrying the sickness.
"West Nile Virus has a tendency to be more of an urban issue, but it's certainly prevalent out in rural environments as well," said Al Gettman, RIDEM Mosquito Abatement Coordinator.
Gettman says it isn't uncommon for West Nile Virus to be found in a dense area like Smith Hill, but it is concerning.
"A particularly mild winter allowed for increased survival of various mosquito species which kicked off West Nile Virus season," said Gettman.
He says when storm drains collect water, they become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management is working to treat the storm drains and will continue to test the mosquitoes.