West Nile Virus activity higher than average in North Carolina

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Monday, September 19, 2022
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NCDHH said four people had tested positive for the virus -- and that's double the state's average at this time of year.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- West Nile Virus activity in North Carolina is higher than usual this time of year, according to a warning from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

NCDHHS said four human cases of the virus have already been identified, with at least one being in Cumberland County. The average number of cases by this time of year is just two.

"Detecting a number of West Nile virus infections is a reminder to take precautions, especially because there are two months of active transmission season ahead of us," NC entomologist Michael Doyle said. "People should take precautions when outside to wear mosquito repellent and by emptying standing water on their property to reduce mosquito breeding near their homes."

The majority of people infected with West Nile Virus experience no or mild symptoms, 20 percent of people infected develop a fever, headache, body ache, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash, and around 1 percent of people infected could have serious complications.

The fall is North Carolina is when most cases of mosquito borne illnesses are reported. Because of that, NCDHHS recommends families take precautions -- such as wearing mosquito repellant, empty standing water on your property and make sure any window or door screens are in good condition.