The agency issued a warning to residents of the North Shore that the level of West Nile virus activity is moderate and increasing.
"It is imperative that we act quickly to reduce the risk of human West Nile virus transmission and protect public health, especially since the hottest weeks of summer are upon us and populations of mosquitoes are very high, increasing the risk to residents", District Manager Gary Goodman said in the news release. To protect patient confidentiality, the department is not releasing additional details.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most people who become infected with West Nile virus experience no symptoms or a mild, flu-like illness.
Bosch says wear long sleeves if you can when outdoors, use mosquito repellent and avoid being outdoors at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active. About one in five people infected develop other symptoms, including a fever. In about 1 percent of infections, West Nile virus can cause a severe illness affecting the central nervous system, such as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord).
West Nile is a mosquito-borne illness and there are no vaccines approved for humans.
West Nile virus is one of several mosquito-borne viruses that can be acquired in North Carolina.
Use an EPA-registered mosquito repellent and apply according to the manufacturer's instructions. Be sure to use insect repellent and wear long sleeves and trousers at these times, or consider staying indoors during these hours. Officials are advising the public to remove standing water as well. "We can do this by eliminating opportunities for mosquitoes to breed and multiply, and by taking steps to prevent mosquito bites".
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