Mosquito Tests Positive For West Nile Virus In New Hanover County

Mosquito Tests Positive For West Nile Virus In New Hanover County

Mosquito Tests Positive For West Nile Virus In New Hanover County Featured

By / Local News / Wednesday, 14 August 2019 15:42

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

NEW HANOVER CTY - A mosquito recently caught in a trap in New Hanover County in the area of Greenville Loop Road has  tested positive for West Nile Virus.

According to a release issue Monday August 12th, "Recent testing of local mosquitoes confirmed one positive sample of West Nile Virus in New Hanover County. One mosquito pool in a trap near Greenville Loop Road tested positive for the virus. The public should not be alarmed, but should be vigilant in protecting themselves from mosquito bites."

New Hanover County's Vector Control Division monitors mosquito populations across the County including using larvicides to target larvae and breeding locations. The division also sprays areas of the county throughout the warmer months using an EPA-registered pesticide.

Public Health Director Phillip Tarte explained, "While human incidence of West Nile Virus is rare, it is a dangerous disease with no cure or vaccine for people, so residents should protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites," and, "Use EPA approved insect repellent, wear long sleeves and pants and limit outdoor activity at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are known to be most active."

According to the Division, "Vector Control will continue monitoring activities throughout the county, and is increasing surveillance and control in the area of Greenville Loop Road. Spraying along Greenville Loop Road will take place Tuesday, August 13 beginning at 6 p.m., weather permitting."

To report mosquito activity or concerns, and sign up for spraying alerts, visit PublicHealth.NHCgov.com and click "mosquito control."

In October 2018, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) has confirmed that a New Hanover County resident who recently died tested positive for West Nile virus.

"Our sympathy goes out to this family. Public Health will continue working diligently to monitor the mosquito populations in our county and educate our residents about mosquito prevention," said New Hanover County Public Health Director Phillip Tarte. "These infections are rare, but this is a reminder that the risk is present. We encourage residents to continue taking precautions when they are outside and be vigilant to protect themselves from mosquito bites."

Mosquitoes can spread a variety of diseases; and children, elderly, and immunocompromised populations are at the greatest risk. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most people who are infected with West Nile virus do not experience symptoms, or only have mild flu-like symptoms.
In October 2017, testing of the local mosquito pools confirmed one positive sample of West Nile Virus (WNV) in New Hanover County.

"Human incidence of West Nile Virus is rare, but remains a dangerous disease. There is no cure and no vaccine available for people, so citizens should protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites," said Tarte. "Minimize unprotected outdoor exposure at dawn and dusk, the times during the day when mosquito activity peaks. Additional protective measures include applying insect repellent and wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants. New Hanover County Health Department will continue proactive surveillance and control activities to identify mosquito-borne illnesses in an effort to protect our citizens and visitors of the county."

The young, elderly, and immunocompromised populations are at greatest risk, and WNV can result in death. There are usually no symptoms in most people who become infected with WNV. About 1 in 5 people who are infected will develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Most people with this type of WNV disease recover completely, but fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months. Less than 1% of people who are infected will develop a serious neurologic illness such as encephalitis or meningitis (inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues). The symptoms of neurologic illness can include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, seizures, or paralysis.

Find more mosquito prevention tips and information on the Health Department’s website at http://health.nhcgov.com/  and learn more about West Nile virus on the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/westnile/index.html

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