Eastern equine encephalitis found in mosquito trapped at Fort Fisher

Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 3:19 PM EDT
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Editor’s Note: County health officials say a CDC lab mistakenly reported a positive sample of eastern equine encephalitis in a pool of mosquitos trapped in Fort Fisher. The positive test was actually found in a pool of mosquitos trapped in Castle Hayne.

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Recent testing of mosquitoes by New Hanover County Public Health confirmed one positive sample of Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV) in a mosquito pool from a trap at Fort Fisher in Kure Beach, according to county health officials.

“The public should not be alarmed, but should be vigilant in protecting themselves from mosquito bites,” a news release stated.

Transmission of the EEE virus is caused by bites from an infected mosquito. While EEE can be transmitted to humans, such cases occur relatively infrequently, largely because the primary transmission cycle takes place in and around cedar or hardwood swamp areas where human populations tend to be limited.

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Residents can better protect themselves from mosquito bites by wearing light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and long pants, avoiding outside activities at dusk/dawn when mosquitoes are most active, emptying any standing water sources where mosquitos can breed, and applying mosquito repellent.

If using a repellent with DEET, make sure to follow label instructions, and keep DEET out of the eyes, mouth and nose.

New Hanover County Mosquito Control continuously monitors mosquito activity throughout the county, and is increasing surveillance and control in the Kure Beach area, including planned mosquito spraying this evening, Monday, Sept. 13, beginning at 6 p.m.

To report mosquito activity or concerns, and sign up for spraying alerts, visit

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