Local News

N.C. Confirms First Case Of West Nile Virus In Dead Bird

Posted September 18, 2001 6:18 a.m. EDT

— The state Health Department has confirmed the first case of

West Nile Virus

in North Carolina. A dead blue jay found in Cabarrus County tested positive for the disease.

The disease, which is transmitted through mosquitos, can make people sick and has caused deaths in the oldest adults, but most cases lead to mild illness.

The heath department says the mild summer has probably prevented an outbreak of the virus in North Carolina and residents should not worry.

However, the state's health director issued a public health warning Monday to protect ourselves from mosquitos.

"Be sure you limit outdoor activities when possible when mosquitos are out. Stay away from heavily infected areas. Make certain that screens around windows and doors, if you're leaving them open, are intact," Leah Devlin, N.C. Health Director.

Devlin also says to empty anything that holds standing water around the home, where mosquitos are likely to breed.

The virus, which originated overseas, was first discovered two years in New York and has spread to about 20 states.

The first and only other confirmed case in North Carolina was reported last October in a dead crow at Jordan Lake in Chatham County. A public health warning was issued. No human cases have been reported in North Carolina.