North Carolina Mosquito Control Services

October 18th, 2010

Rockingham County Warning About West Nile Virus

Wentworth, NC — The Rockingham County Department of Public Health is warning people tonight about West Nile Virus. The disease was found in a horse in the county.

The department says no West Nile cases have been identified in humans in North Carolina since 2008. However, health leaders say the equine case shows the disease is present and people should take precautions.

West Nile Virus is transmitted by some species of mosquitoes. It attacks the central nervous system and causes inflammation of the brain. West Nile can be fatal to people and animals.

The Rockingham County Department of Public Health warns that symptoms can develop in humans between a few days and two weeks after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Symptoms include rapid onset of fever and headache and can resemble a case of the flu. West Nile may also cause long-term effects to the nervous system.

The Department of Public Health offers the following tips to prevent West Nile:

Dusk and Dawn – Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are seeking blood. For many species, this is during the dusk and dawn hours.
Dress – Wear clothing that covers most of your skin.
DEET – When the potential exists for exposure to mosquitoes, repellents containing DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide,) are recommended. Picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus are other repellent options.
Drainage – Check around your home to rid the area of standing water, which is where mosquitoes can lay their eggs.

To reduce mosquito breeding areas around your home and farm:

  • Remove any containers that can hold water;
  • Keep gutters clean and in good repair;
  • Repair leaky outdoor faucets and change the water in bird baths and pet bowls at least twice a week;
  • Use screened windows and doors and make sure screens fit tightly and are not torn.
  • Keep tight-fitting screens or lids on rain barrels.

If you have questions about your horse and West Nile Virus, talk to your veterinarian or call the Department of Agriculture at 919-733-7601.

North Carolina Mosquito Control Program

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