Charlotte, NC (WBTV)-The West Nile virus was found in mosquitoes in Mecklenburg County, health leaders say.
The State Public Health Institute identified the virus in mosquitoes collected in Central Mecklenburg County on July 14.
Fortunately, authorities have not identified residents of Mecklenburg County with neuroinvasive West Nile fever.
Mosquitoes play a role in circulating West Nile fever within a population of wild birds and can infect humans with a single bite of the virus.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the majority of people infected with the West Nile virus do not experience the symptoms of a mild flu-like illness.
However, about 20% of infected people develop fever with other symptoms such as headache, body pain, joint pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and rash.
In about 1% of infections, West Nile virus can cause serious illnesses that affect the central nervous system, such as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) and meningitis (inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord). There is.
There is no approved West Nile vaccine for use in humans, and no drug to treat West Nile disease after a person is infected with a mosquito.
Individuals should take steps to minimize exposure to mosquitoes during outdoor activities, especially during the morning and evening hours.
Gibby Harris, the county’s director of health, urges residents to:
- Use an EPA-registered mosquito repellent and apply according to the manufacturer’s instructions.to see https://www.epa.gov/insect-repellents/find-repellent-right-you
- Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out and use air conditioning if possible.
- Reduce mosquito breeding by emptying standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water pans, discarded tires, and bird baths at least once a week.
If you are a horse owner, consult your veterinarian about the appropriate preventive vaccine for your horse and change the aquarium water at least twice a week to discourage mosquito breeding.
For more information about mosquitoes or to file a mosquito complaint in your area, please contact Environmental Health (980-343-1620) or Environmental Health (mecknc.gov)]Submit a mosquito control service request online.
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