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Diseases & Topics

Mosquito-Borne Illnesses (Arboviruses)

"Arboviruses" are viruses that are transmitted by the bite of an infected arthropod, usually a mosquito. They can lead to serious illnesses in people. Arboviruses are also known as vector-borne diseases.

Three main arboviruses are transmitted to both people and animals by various types of mosquitoes in North Carolina:

Most cases of arboviral disease occur from June through September, when mosquitoes are most active. Arboviruses usually cause either no symptoms or mild, flu-like illness. They can cause more serious conditions, including encephalitis, meningitis and meningoencephalitis, and can be fatal.

Dengue fever, malaria and yellow fever are also reportable mosquito-borne illnesses in North Carolina. Although, they are not transmitted by mosquitoes in this state, North Carolinians may contract one of these diseases if they travel to certain countries or regions where these diseases are found, such as the tropics or sub-Saharan Africa.

Mosquito-borne illness can be prevented in two main ways: personal protection measures and reducing the population of infected mosquitoes. Personal measures include reducing time outdoors particularly in early morning and early evening hours; wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts; and applying mosquito repellent to exposed skin areas. Measures to reduce mosquito populations include eliminating mosquito breeding areas, preventing mosquito larvae from hatching, or spraying approved insecticides to kill adult mosquitoes.

In North Carolina

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