First death of 2015 from West Nile reported in NC

NC records first West Nile death in 2015

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- North Carolina now has its our first confirmed case and death from West Nile virus, and mosquito experts say we need to be on the lookout. They're actually calling it one of the worst years for mosquitoes that they've seen. 

When you think mosquitos, you think water. Lucky for us, we've been in a drought all summer. 

"We expect going into dryer times, less mosquitos," said B.J. Bacha with Mosquito Authority.  

But Bacha says the drought doesn't play as much of a role as you'd think. Heat forms the ideal mosquito breeding ground and with the hot weather we've experienced over the last few months, Bacha's guys at Mosquito Authority are seeing way more than they usually do. 

"Especially this late in the season," Bacha said. "This is the time when things usually start to slow off and people are able to get outside and enjoy less mosquitoes in the evening and that has not been the case." 

The first death in North Carolina from West Nile virus was announced Tuesday by the state health department. Typical symptoms are flu-like: nausea or fever, but Stacy Byous says it's a difficult virus to discover. 

"It's so hard to say because each person is individual," Byous said. "Many people have it and they don't even know that they have it." 

She works at "Any Lab Test Now", which provides West Nile virus testing from a simple blood draw for $160 at their facility in south Charlotte. 

"To go in there without a doctor's order, we're the only place," Byous said.  

The state recommends using bug spray with DEET, keeping screens in tact on windows and doors and emptying any standing water from flowerpots, buckets and pool covers.

Bacha says they'll be doing their part. 

"We're going to hit the mosquitoes where they are and we're going to try to do what we can to reduce their population," Bacha said.  

With such a large number of mosquitoes this year, Bacha says it's just luck of the draw that there haven't been more cases or deaths from West Nile virus here.


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