Health leaders urge caution after N.C. records first 2022 death due to West Nile Virus

So far this year, the state has confirmed nine cases of West Nile Virus.
Now that it’s cooler, a lot of people aren’t thinking about mosquitos.
Published: Oct. 3, 2022 at 5:24 AM EDT
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WBTV) - The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services wants people to take precautions after the state saw its first death due to the West Nile Virus.

State health leaders haven’t said where that death occurred. There have been at least two cases of the mosquito-borne illness in Mecklenburg County.

Related: Two confirmed cases of West Nile Virus in Meck Co., officials say to take caution

Now that it’s cooler, a lot of people aren’t thinking about mosquitos. State health officials say that’s a mistake because most mosquito-borne illnesses happen from August through October.

Another issue is with all the recent rain there’s a lot of standing water, which is where mosquitoes lay their eggs.

We are in the season of mosquito-borne viruses.

It’s a good idea for people to take a quick walk around their yard and dump out anything that might have filled with water.

So far this year, the state has confirmed nine cases of West Nile Virus. Most of those are mild or flu-like symptoms. Only about 1% develop serious cases.

Although the number of confirmed cases is still pretty low, state health officials say for every one confirmed case there are about 100 to 150 other infections that go undetected.

NCDHHS recommends individuals take the following precautions:

  • Use mosquito repellent that contains DEET (or equivalent) when outside in areas where mosquitoes might be present. Use caution when applying to children.
  • Install or repair and use window and door screens.
  • Close doors, including garage doors. Do not leave doors propped open.
  • Use air conditioning when possible.
  • Reduce mosquito breeding by emptying standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires and birdbaths at least once a week.
  • If you think you or a family member might have WNV disease, talk with your health care provider.