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Health

West Nile Virus Identified In Mecklenburg County, Health Officials Say

mosquito
Wolfgang Hasselmann
/
Unsplash
Mosquitoes transmit West Nile virus to humans.

West Nile virus has been found in a mosquito collected in central Mecklenburg County, public health officials announced Tuesday.

The virus was identified in a mosquito July 14, the county said. No cases of West Nile virus have yet been identified in people in Mecklenburg County.

West Nile virus is circulated by mosquitos within the wild bird population and can be transmitted to humans through a single bite.

Most people who contract West Nile Virus have no symptoms or a mild, flu-like illness, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. But 20% will develop more severe symptoms that include fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash.

About 1% of those infected with the virus experience a severe illness affecting the central nervous system, such as encephalitis or meningitis.

People in Mecklenburg County are asked to minimize exposure to mosquitoes, said county health director Gibbie Harris. That can be accomplished by:

  • Minimize outside activities, especially during morning and evening hours;
  • Use an EPA-registered mosquito repellent. See a list of recommended products here;
  • Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes outside;
  • Empty standing water from receptacles outside to reduce mosquito breeding.

There are no vaccines for West Nile virus for humans, and no medications that can be used to cure the disease.

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