Health Team

Two children infected with mosquito-borne illness

Posted July 15, 2008 11:04 a.m. EDT

— The first seasonal cases of La Crosse viral encephalitis (LAC) have been reported to state public health officials.

Two children, one each in Haywood and Transylvania counties, were diagnosed with the mosquito-borne illness, which is similar to West Nile Virus, but is largely contained to the western counties of North Carolina. Both are recovering.

“These cases are an unfortunate reminder that we all need to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites,” State Epidemiologist Jeffrey Engel said. "Thankfully, it is fairly easy for people to protect themselves by applying mosquito repellants and making their home or work environment less attractive to mosquitoes.”

La Crosse symptoms include fever, headache, nausea and vomiting.

The state health department advises that residents eliminate any mosquito-friendly breeding grounds to limit exposure.

  • Dump containers of standing water – including pet bowls and bird baths
  • Keep gutters clean
  • Close holes in window and door screens

The CDC recommends using mosquito repellants during outdoor work and play, and wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts.