North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper ordered nearly $4 million to fund mosquito control in disaster counties. 

On Wednesday, Gov. Cooper ordered $4 million dollars to fund mosquito control efforts in counties currently under a major disaster declaration, according to a press release from the Office of the Governor Roy Cooper. These counties include: Bladen, Beaufort, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Duplin, Harnett, Hoke, Hyde, Johnston, Jones, Lee, Lenoir, Moore, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pender, Pitt, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson, Scotland, Wayne, and Wilson.

“To help local communities in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, I’ve directed state funds for mosquito control efforts to protect people who live in hard-hit areas.” Gov. Cooper said.

The funding will allow control efforts to begin as soon as Thursday and each county’s allocation will be based “upon their share of the total acreage requiring mosquito treatment in the 27 counties,” according to the release. None of the counties “will be asked to share in the cost for these services up to their specific allocation amount” and will “have the flexibility to determine the most appropriate means to provide this service.”

“I’m grateful to Governor Cooper for taking this action to allow us to provide a critical public health service,” said Craven County Health Director Scott Harrelson. “This has been a serious issue for our county and many others impacted by Hurricane Florence.”

Increased mosquito populations often follow a hurricane or any weather event that results in large-scale flooding, the release says. “While most mosquitoes that emerge after flooding do not transmit human disease, they still pose a public health problem by discouraging people from going outside and hindering recovery efforts.”

“Although rare, the most commonly reported mosquito-borne illnesses that can be acquired in North Carolina are LaCrosse encephalitis, West Nile virus and Eastern equine encephalitis. Nearly 70 percent of mosquito-borne infections reported in the state in 2017 were acquired during travel outside the continental U.S.,” the release also says.

While outdoors, people are encouraged to:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants while outdoors.
  • Use mosquito repellent that contains DEET or an equivalent when outside and use caution when applying to children.

 For more information, visit the NC Department of Health and Human Services website here