West Nile Virus claims a life in North Carolina, warnings issued - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

West Nile Virus claims a life in North Carolina, warnings issued

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HICKORY, NC (WBTV) -

The current West Nile Virus outbreak has claimed the life of a Wayne County man and state health officials are urging residents statewide to take precautions.

That is the first death in North Carolina this year because of the virus.

West Nile has been reported in 48 states so far this summer, with 41 deaths attributed to it nationwide. The death in Wayne County is the first in North Carolina this year.

Experts think the mild winter, early spring combined with very hot temperatures in July have contributed to the increase in mosquitoes and the West Nile Virus this year.

While most people who are bitten by mosquitoes will not become sick, health officials are urging people not to take chances. Standing water around homes should be dumped regularly. They also advise people to stay inside from dusk until dawn because that is when mosquitoes are out in force.

A good mosquito repellent containing DEET will keep the pests away but before using any product such as that people are urged to carefully read the warning labels. Some products are not designed for use by children.

Mosquitoes will keep breeding until nighttime temperatures are regularly in the 50's. Typically in North Carolina, outside of the mountains, that doesn't happen until late September or early October.

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