State asks community to take steps to avoid tick- and mosquito-borne disease
RALEIGH, N.C. (WECT) - The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is asking residents to “Fight the Bite” to avoid tick- and mosquito-borne diseases.
According to a notice posted on Thursday, almost 700 cases of these illnesses were reported in 2022.
Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease and others can cause headaches, fevers, rashes and some potentially severe symptoms. Alpha-gal syndrome and southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI) have been seen in NC as well. Lyme disease cases accounted for over half of tick-borne diseases in 2022.
Ticks usually live in wooded, grassy and brushy areas, and the DHHS reccomends you:
- Use repellent that contains DEET (or other EPA approved replicants) on exposed skin and wear clothing treated with a pesticide called permethrin. Use caution when applying to children.
- Check yourself and your children for ticks if you have been in a tick habitat and remove them promptly.
- Reduce tick habitats with selective landscaping techniques.
The most common mosquito-borne diseases in NC are the West Nile virus, eastern equine encephalitis and La Crosse encephalitis. Most are acquired while travelling outside the continental United States.
The NCDHHS reccomends you:
- Use mosquito repellent that contains DEET (or equivalent) when outside. Use caution when applying to children.
- Consider treating clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks and tents) with 0.5% permethrin.
- Install or repair screens on windows and doors and use air conditioning if possible.
- “Tip and Toss” — Reduce mosquito breeding by emptying standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires and birdbaths at least once a week.
Local health departments and schools also organize a poster artwork contest with the NCDHHS, and you can find last year’s winners here.
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