NC resident dies from West Nile virus

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RALEIGH, N.C. — State health officials on Thursday announced a North Carolina person had died from West Nile virus, marking the first confirmed case of the virus and related death so far this year.

Officials said the person who died from the mosquito-born illness was an adult from Wilson County.

According to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, 696 cases of West Nile virus have been reported nationwide this year as of Sept. 10. Among the cases there have been 28 deaths. In the same time period last year, 2,636 cases had been reported.

“Most cases of West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne illness  occur from mid-August through mid-October in our state, so we encourage everyone to take precautions to protect against mosquitoes,” said Dr. Robin Cummings, acting State Health Director.

Health officials say the mosquito that transmits West Nile virus can develop from an egg to an adult in as little as a week. The DHHS offers the following measures to prevent potential breeding sites around your property:

  • Eliminate standing water in places like flower pots, discarded containers, gutters and kiddie pools.
  • Clean ornamental ponds and ensure that filtration systems are functioning properly.
  • Clean and change water in horse troughs at least once a week.

It also is important to keep window screens and panes in good condition to prevent entry of insects into your home, and to wear long sleeves, pants and socks while outdoors when weather permits.

Health officials say mosquitoes are most active from dawn to dusk, so if you plan to be outdoors, always use repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus on exposed skin.

For more information, visit publichealth.nc.gov.

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