West Nile virus death reported in southeastern NC

West Nile virus risk rising in southeast Sask

The health department says it's sending one dead bird to the state that's suspected of having the virus. The agency issued a warning to residents of the North Shore that the level of West Nile virus activity is moderate and increasing.

State health officials are encouraging residents and visitors to take precautions to prevent mosquito-borne illnesses following the death of a North Carolina resident from West Nile virus infection last week, according to a press release from the.

"These infections are rare, but this is a tragic reminder that they can be fatal", said State Public Health Veterinarian Carl Williams. About one in five people infected develop other symptoms, including a fever.

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The KDHE says most West Nile infections occur in the late summer and early fall. About 1 percent of those who get West Nile will see serious damage to the central nervous system, and about 1 in 10 of those will die. Other mosquito-borne viruses transmitted in the state that cause human illness include LaCrosse and Eastern equine encephalitis viruses.

To reduce the opportunity for mosquitoes to breed, the department suggests ensuring draining pipes are properly sloped and to eliminate sources of standing water around your home, including birdbaths, pet dishes and garbage cans.

When you are outdoors, use insect repellent containing an EPA-registered active ingredient on skin and clothing, including DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535. From 2012-2017, there were 25 reported cases of West Nile virus in the state and seven reported deaths. The FDA recommends insect repellents with DEET or picaridin as an active ingredient, wearing long sleeves and long trousers in areas where mosquitoes are active and staying indoors, keeping window screens closed.

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