CUMBERLAND COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- The first case of West Nile virus this year was reported in Cumberland County.
The virus is spread through the bites of mosquitos.
North Carolina state officials say the the best way to protect yourself is to prevent mosquitos from breeding around your home.
Some ways of protecting yourself include, treating standing water in containers with EPA approved insecticides, standing water outside containers, and changing water in bird baths and pet bowls at least twice a week.
"We all need to take personal precautions to protect ourselves and loved ones from mosquito bites and thus reduce our risk of infection," said Dr. Jennifer Green, Cumberland County Health Director.
Officials also recommend protecting yourself by using an insect repellent with DEET, an active ingredient in many repellent products widely used to repel biting pests such as mosquitoes and ticks.
According to officials, less than 1% of people who are infected will develop a serious neurologic illness such as encephalitis or meningitis, which is inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues. Symptoms of neurologic illness can include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, seizures or paralysis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that for every neurological case reported, approximately 140 people were infected but not reported.
Visit the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services website to learn more about West Nile virus and mosquitoes,