MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Public health officials are alerting residents to take caution while enjoying the weather to prevent mosquito-borne illness.
West Nile Virus activity has increased across North Carolina. In Mecklenburg County, there are two confirmed human cases of WNV. There are four confirmed human cases in North Carolina.
“The increase is concerning as the state averages two cases of WNV by the end of August,” Mecklenburg County officials said.
“I know this is a great time of year to be outdoors, but we want to make sure the public is taking caution and protecting themselves. When you’re outdoors, use mosquito repellent. Take note of any standing water around your home and empty those containers as they can be a breeding ground for mosquitos. Enjoy the weather, but be cautious,” said Dr. Raynard Washington, Public Health director, in a written statement.
While the majority of people who become infected with WNV usually experience either no symptoms or a mild, flu-like illness, about 20 percent of infected people will develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash, health officials said.
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In about 1% of infections, WNV causes serious conditions, including encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), meningitis (inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord), and meningoencephalitis (inflammation of the brain and surrounding tissues).
WNV can lead to death in some cases, health officials said.