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West Nile Cases in Eastern N.C.

By Catherine M. Welch

Wilmington, NC – State Health Officials are urging residents in eastern North Carolina to use insect repellent after diagnosing cases of West Nile and Eastern Equine Encephalitis in some chickens and a horse.

The chickens diagnosed with West Nile were in Craven and Beaufort counties.

The Eastern Equine Encephalitis cases were diagnosed in Columbus and Carteret counties.

Debbie Crane is a spokesperson with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Serivces. She says the threat of West Nile isn't limited to the counties where the cases were discovered.

You know mosquitoes nor viruses don't understand county lines. We found these issues in four counties, chances are they're really pretty much across coastal North Carolina. These are canaries in a coalmine they tell us the virus is active, out there and people need to be taking care to protect themselves and their families.

Crane says the state saw a spike in mosquito-borne illnesses in the first part of the summer.

This year's only case of a mosquito-born illness infecting a person was diagnosed in a young girl in the western part of the state.