RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- As the temperatures begin to warm up, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is urging everyone to 'Fight the Bite' by taking precautions to reduce the risk of tick- and mosquito-borne diseases.
According to the NCDHHS, there were nearly 700 cases of tick and mosquito-borne illnesses in the state last year. They include Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease, West Nile Virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis and La Crosse Encephalitis.
Most diagnoses of tick-borne diseases are reported between June and September, and cases of Lyme disease accounted for more than half of tick-borne diseases reported last year.
"Ticks and mosquitoes are everywhere in North Carolina and their bites can cause serious diseases," said Alexis M. Barbarin, Ph.D., State Public Health Entomologist.
As part of tick and mosquito awareness month, state health officials are offering tips to keep yourself and your family safe.
The DHHS recommends using DEET or other EPA approved repellents while outdoors.
Also, make sure to check yourself and children for ticks if you've been in tick habitats like wooded, grassy and bushy areas. And make sure to empty standing water from items like flower pots, buckets and tires around your home to reduce the chance of mosquitoes breeding.
You can visit the NCDHHS Vector Diseases website for more information on vector-borne diseases in NC.