RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — North Carolina health officials say they’re seeing reports of neuroinvasive West Nile Virus activity increasing in the state.
Four cases of the virus have been reported in several parts of the state so far this year, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
Health officials say this is double the average number of cases reported by the end of August each year, which is two.
CBS 17 has reached out to NCDHHS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information about where the four cases are located, but they have not responded.
The Cumberland County Health Department recently reported its first case of West Nile Virus on Sept. 8.
Health officials say fall is the time of year when most cases of mosquito-borne illnesses are reported, and active transmission season lasts for another two months
According to a release, the majority of those infected with West Nile Virus usually experience no symptoms. If they do, the release says it’s typically a mild, flu-like illness, with 20 percent of people developing a fever with other symptoms like headache, body aches, joint paint, vomiting, diarrhea or a rash.
Health officials say only about one percent of infections are serious — with encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), meningitis (inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord) and meningoencephalitis (inflammation of the brain and surrounding tissues). In some cases, they say the virus could lead to death.
They are encouraging people to take the following precautions to prevent the mosquito-borne illness:
- Use mosquito repellent that contains DEET (or equivalent) when outside in areas where mosquitoes might be present.
- Use caution when applying to children. Click here for repellants that will work for you and your family.
- Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes outside. Or keep windows and doors closed and use air conditioning if 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.
For more information about preventing mosquito bites, click here.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by PostX News staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)