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North Carolina’s Mosquito Season is Getting Longer and More Dangerous

In recent years, North Carolina has seen an increase in mosquito activity, which poses a higher risk of diseases they can transmit. The longer mosquito season is due to various factors, including climate change, land use change, and invasive species. This has resulted in a significantly different mosquito landscape compared to several decades ago.

Recent studies by Climate Central show that the Southeast region, including North Carolina, experiences the most annual mosquito days, accounting for nearly 60% of the year. The Raleigh area has seen an increase of 27 more days since 1979 with conditions favorable for mosquito activity, such as specific humidity levels and temperature ranges. This increase in mosquito presence raises concerns about the spread of diseases like West Nile and Zika, posing a threat to public health.

In 2023, North Carolina reported almost 900 cases of illnesses transmitted by ticks and mosquitoes. To raise awareness about the risks of vector-borne diseases, the North Carolina Department of Health has launched a “Fight the Bite” campaign during Tick and Mosquito Awareness Month in April. The campaign aims to educate residents about preventive measures they can take to protect themselves from mosquito-borne illnesses.

Experts recommend taking steps to reduce the risk of mosquito-borne diseases by using insect repellent with DEET, wearing protective clothing, and installing or repairing window screens. Additionally, the “Tip and Toss” method can help eliminate mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from various sources at least once a week. It is advised to consult with healthcare professionals or local health departments before traveling to areas where exotic mosquito-borne diseases are prevalent to ensure proper precautions are taken.

The rise in mosquito activity is not just limited to North Carolina but also affecting other regions globally. However, there are measures that can be taken to minimize this threat and keep people safe from vector-borne diseases.

As we approach summer months when mosquitos become more active it is important that we take proactive measures in protecting ourselves from their bite

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