October 11, 2001
West Nile Virus Possibly Found in North Carolina
- A Florida man traveling through North Carolina in a
recreational vehicle (RV) was recently treated for possible West Nile virus
infection at Mercy South Hospital in Charlotte. Preliminary results from
tests conducted by a private laboratory indicate that he may have contracted
the virus. Tests will be conducted by the state Laboratory of Public Health
for independent confirmation of the preliminary test results.
The patient was a 66-year-old man from Florida who was traveling with his
wife through North Carolina in early September. During 2 separate visits to
Pitt County they stayed several nights in Greenville where, according to the
patient, there were lots of mosquitoes and where he also noticed a dead bird
under his RV. Based on this information he was tested for West Nile virus.
However, because the man was traveling and staying in other states, there is
no way of knowing for sure where he may have contracted the disease if, in
fact, it turns out to be West Nile virus.
Environmental health experts with the Department of Environment and Natural
Resources' Pest Management Section are now working with Pitt County public
health officials to look for evidence of the virus in mosquitoes and birds.
Spraying for mosquitoes or other preventive measures will be determined by
the local officials based upon those results.