In a press release Tuesday, health officials from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Public Health encouraged residents and visitors to take precautions to prevent mosquito-borne illness following a death from West Nile virus infection. This was North Carolina’s first death and first confirmed case in 2015.
Mosquito-borne diseases such as West Nile virus infection usually cause either no symptoms or mild, flu-like illness. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention most people, from 70 to 80% who become infected with West Nile virus do not develop any symptoms. However, it can cause more serious conditions, including encephalitis, meningitis and meningoencephalitis in about 1% of cases which can be fatal. West Nile virus is one of several mosquito-borne viruses known to occur in North Carolina, in addition to eastern equine encephalitis and La Crosse encephalitis. There have been 13 cases reported from 2010 through 2014.
“This is a tragic reminder that these infections, though relatively rare, can be fatal,” said Dr. Carl Williams, State Public Health Veterinarian. “We see most cases of mosquito-borne illness in the months from August through October but you can still enjoy your time outdoors by following some basic control measures.”
Some precautions that citizens can take are featured in the CCD micro-doc posted below:
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