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Cumberland County reports first death from West Nile Virus in state

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The Cumberland County Health Department has reported the first death this year from West Nile Virus in North Carolina, the department said in a news release.

The Health Department did not provide any details about the person who died citing patient confidentiality.

The department said there are two confirmed cases of West Nile virus in Cumberland County.

West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne virus that can cause serious, life-altering disease or death, the state Department of Health and Human Services says on its website.

The Cumberland County Department of Public Health is encouraging residents to take precautions to prevent mosquito-borne illness.

Most people infected with West Nile virus do not have any symptoms, the state Department of Health and Human Services says on its website. Some people will have mild symptoms such as fever, nausea and rash.

In about 1% of cases, infected people will develop more severe conditions such as encephalitis, meningitis and meningoencephalitis, and possibly death, the Health Department said in its release.

“We encourage the proper usage of repellents to reduce mosquito populations, particularly between the months of August through October, but you can still enjoy the outdoors,” Dr. Jennifer Green, the county health director, said in the release.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services offers these tips to help eliminate mosquito breeding and reduce the risk of mosquito-borne disease:

  • Use mosquito repellent that contains DEET (or equivalent) when exposed to mosquitoes. Use caution when applying to children.
  • Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes outside and if possible, use air conditioning.
  • Reduce mosquito breeding by emptying standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires and birdbaths at least once a week.

 For more information, call 910-433-3707 or visit the Cumberland County Health Department website at cumberlandcountync.gov/departments/public-health, the North Carolina Health and Human Services website at epi.publichealth.nc.gov/cd/arbo/prevent.html or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at http://www.cdc.gov/westnile/faq/repellent.html.

 

Cumberland County, Health Department, West Nile Virus, death