The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says West Nile is the leading mosquito-borne disease in the country. The virus could set a record number of infections in North Carolina this year.

State health officials have recorded 10 cases of West Nile Virus and 2 fatalities. Positive cases have been reported in New Hanover, Cumberland, Wake, Mecklenburg, and Catawba counties.

As climate change creates a more inviting habitat in North Carolina for mosquitoes, officials are concerned about what this could mean for the future of mosquito-borne disease outbreaks.

Most individuals infected with the virus don’t feel sick, but about 20% of those infected develop a fever or other symptoms, such as body aches, a rash, vomiting, or diarrhea. According to the CDC, about one in 150 infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal illness, including inflammation of the brain.

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