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First Death of 2022 from West Nile Virus in North Carolina reported in Cumberland County

Oct 03, 2022

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. – Cumberland County Health Department has reported the first death from West Nile Virus in North Carolina.  Further details regarding the deceased are not available to protect patient confidentiality. There are two confirmed cases of West Nile virus in Cumberland County.

Health officials from the Cumberland County Department of Public Health encourage residents and visitors to take precautions to prevent mosquito-borne illness following the first death associated with West Nile virus in Cumberland County.

Most people who become infected with West Nile virus usually experience either no symptoms or a mild, flu-like illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.   However, about 20% of people who are infected will develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash. In about 1% of cases, West Nile virus can cause more serious conditions, including encephalitis, meningitis and meningoencephalitis, and possibly death.

“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,” said Dr. Jennifer Green, Health Director.

The Cumberland County Department of Public Health recommends following the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services suggested precautions:

  • 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 you can visit the Cumberland County Health Department webpage at cumberlandcountync.gov/departments/public-health, the North Carolina Health and Human Services webpage at epi.publichealth.nc.gov/cd/arbo/prevent.html or the CDC’s webpage at http://www.cdc.gov/westnile/faq/repellent.html.