Warning About Mosquito Borne Illness

The Beaufort County Health Department is urging people to take additional precautions to prevent mosquito bites after a sentinel chicken tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis and two horses had to be euthanized because of EEE.

Spraying to help control mosquito populations is continuing across the county. Areas are being prioritized by locations that are seeing the greatest activity.

EEE is a rare disease. The viral illness, transmitted by some species of mosquitoes, attacks the central nervous system, causes inflammation of the brain and can be fatal to animals and humans. Wild birds serve as reservoirs for the virus. Mosquitoes bite the birds and then can transmit the virus to humans and animals.

North Carolina averages about one human case of EEE and about 10 equine cases each year. About fifty percent of human EEE cases are fatal, with young children and the elderly most at risk.

Symptoms include rapid onset of fever and headache and can resemble a case of the flu. Survivors of EEE infections may suffer from long-term effects to the nervous system.

The health department says the best defense for people against EEE infection is to avoid mosquito bites. Reduce time spent outdoors, particularly in early morning and early evening hours when mosquitoes are most active; wear light-colored long pants and long-sleeved shirts; and apply mosquito repellent.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by someone on Aug 1, 2009 at 05:42 PM
    Disgusted - Are you down a private road? Most counties that spray are very careful not to go on private roads as it creates a potential for liability suits. Also, spraying is done in the evening or very early in the morning. Is it possible you just did not see them spraying? But county governments would never try to prevent lawsuits - They are just out to get you and treat you bad - Right disgusted.
  • by me on Aug 1, 2009 at 05:32 PM
    Danielle - Have you tried calling the city to find out?
  • by Danielle Location: Greenville on Aug 1, 2009 at 08:08 AM
    With high temperatures and humidity being a factor, it is hard to go outside with long pants or a long shirt to protect myself from mosquito bites. Mosquito bites have become a big problem when I go outside with my dogs. How can I find out if the city is going to spray for mosquitoes in my area?
  • by wayln Location: va on Jul 25, 2009 at 11:05 AM
    How do spray a whole swamp
  • by mosquito magnent Location: Washington Park on Jul 25, 2009 at 07:52 AM
    The mosquitos are really bad around here. I can't be outside for 30 seconds without getting bitten. I have tried every kind of spray, but I still get bites. I think are attracted to some people more than other because my husband never gets bitten. It makes me not want to go outside in the early morning or dusk.
  • by anonymous Location: eastern nc on Jul 25, 2009 at 07:41 AM
    The area is washington.
  • by Disgusted Location: Beaufort Co. on Jul 25, 2009 at 07:26 AM
    It's happening between Belhaven and Bath. That's as specific as I'm going to get, because I know that if the county knew exactly where I lived, we wouldn't have ANY chance at all of getting spraying done. I'd still like to know how much insecticide the county purchased last year.
  • by Anonymous on Jul 25, 2009 at 05:14 AM
    Beaufort County is a BIG county, it would be nice to know what part of the county this is happening in.
  • by Disgusted Location: Beaufort County on Jul 25, 2009 at 04:28 AM
    Good lucking getting them to spray. Last year we called and called in my neighborhood and they sprayed not one single time the whole summer. Our county taxes at work. I'm not going to say where I live because if I do the chances of my area getting sprayed will go from about 1 in a 100 to 0 in 100. Many people in the Beaufort county government are rude and arrogant, especially the tax office. So anyway, we spray our own area now and try to do the best we can. I wouldn't mind it, except I pay taxes for this service and I'm not getting what I paid for. The problem we're having now with mosquitoe born diseases wouldnt' be as bad if the department responsible for spraying would do their job. I wish somebody would investigate and see how much insecticide they bought last and this year. That would be a good indication of how much spraying they've really done. If they aren't doing their job, they should be fired, but that'll NEVER happen in Beaufort County.
  • by The Pirate Lady Location: Grimesland on Jul 24, 2009 at 09:49 PM
    I live in Beaufort Co. I hope they're coming to spray in my area soon. There are horses about 3 houses down from me. And the mosquitos are so bad here at night you can't stay outside too long before you're eaten alive.
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