West Nile Virus found in local mosquito

Posted August 12, 2019 at 2:37 pm     Category: News ReleasePublic Health

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – Recent testing of local mosquitoes confirmed one positive sample of West Nile Virus in New Hanover County. One mosquito pool in a trap near Greenville Loop Road tested positive for the virus. The public should not be alarmed, but should be vigilant in protecting themselves from mosquito bites.

New Hanover County Public Health’s Vector Control division monitors mosquito activity throughout the county, including coastal areas, and helps control the mosquito population through active surveillance, community education, larviciding to target larvae and breeding sites, and mosquito spraying with EPA-registered pesticide.

“While human incidence of West Nile Virus is rare, it is a dangerous disease with no cure or vaccine for people, so residents should protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites,” said Public Health Director Phillip Tarte. “Use EPA approved insect repellent, wear long sleeves and pants and limit outdoor activity at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are known to be most active.”

Vector Control will continue monitoring activities throughout the county, and is increasing surveillance and control in the area of Greenville Loop Road. Spraying along Greenville Loop Road will take place Tuesday, August 13 beginning at 6 p.m., weather permitting.

To report mosquito activity or concerns, and sign up for spraying alerts, visit PublicHealth.NHCgov.com and click “mosquito control.”

About West Nile Virus

The young, old and immunocompromised are at highest risk of contracting West Nile Virus. There are usually no symptoms in most people who become infected with West Nile Virus and most people recover completely. About 1 in 5 people who are infected will develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash. Less than one percent of people who are infected will develop a serious neurological illness like encephalitis or meningitis (inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues). The symptoms of neurological illness can include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, seizures or paralysis.

Preventing Mosquito-borne Illness

  • Use EPA registered mosquito repellent that contains DEET (or equivalent) when outside. Use caution when applying to children.
  • Reduce time spent outdoors, especially dawn, dusk and early evening, when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Wear light-colored long pants and long-sleeved shirts.
  • Install or repair screens on windows and doors, and use air conditioning if possible.
  • “Tip and Toss” to reduce mosquito breeding by emptying standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires and birdbaths at least twice a week.

Find more mosquito prevention tips and information on the New Hanover County Public Health website and learn more about West Nile Virus on the CDC website.


Kate Oelslager

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