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Mosquito Borne Illness in Buncombe

MosquitoBuncombe County HHS officials have reported Buncombe's first case of Chikungunya, a virus transmitted by mosquitoes, making it the third confirmed case in North Carolina.  The Buncombe resident contracted the illness while traveling with a group to Haiti, which is located in an area where outbreaks of the disease have been reported.  The disease is transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes.  It is not transmitted from person to person.  At this time, all cases in the United States have been linked to returning travelers.

Newborns exposed during delivery, adults over 65 years and people with chronic medical condition have a greater risk of having a severe form of the disease.

Officials encourage anyone traveling to the Caribbean, East Africa and the Western Pacific region to be aware of Chikungunya illness and ways to prevent it. 

You can take these simple steps to protect yourself and others:

  1. Prevent mosquito bites
  • Reduce time outdoors during early morning and evening hours when mosquitoes are most active. 
  • Use mosquito repellents containing DEET or other EPA approved repellent (includes Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus).  Use as often as recommended by product directions to achieve the best protection.
  • Spray clothing with a repellent containing permethrin to offer another layer of protection.
  • Cover skin with light colored, long pants and long-sleeved shirts.
  1. Immediately seek medical care if person develops fever within two weeks of returning home from travel abroad.
  2. Getting rid of standing water is the most important thing you can do to prevent mosquitoes around your home & our community.  Take these simple steps to “Tip and Toss” standing water.
    • Look around your home or neighborhood for items that can hold water – like cans, bottles, tires, flower pots, and tree stumps.  Tip and Toss standing water.
    • Get rid of water on plastic covers on woodpiles, sand boxes or pools.
    • Change the water in bird baths and pet bowls at least two times a week.
    • Fix leaky outdoor faucets.
    • Cover rain barrels with tight-fitting screens or lids.
    • Keep gutters clean.
    • Stock ponds with fish that will eat mosquito larvae.  Treat water with products from a local hardware store that will kill young mosquitoes.

Watch this award winning video featuring tips on how to “Tip and Toss” to reduce places where mosquitoes can breed near your home or neighborhood.   

For more information:

Table: News Item Documents
File NameSizeTypeDate & Time Added
Chikungunya Fact Sheet (English) 140 KB 06/27/2014 8:18 AM