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La Crosse Encephalitis case confirmed in Macon

A child from Macon County has been diagnosed with La Crosse Viral Encephalitis according to Macon County Health Director Jim Bruckner.

The child is home and recovering from symptoms, but Bruckner said it is important for everyone to take necessary precautions to prevent mosquito-borne illnesses.

“La Crosse Encephalitis is actually the most common mosquito-borne illness in North Carolina, and is found predominantly in the western part of the state,” said Bruckner. 

Two other mosquito-borne diseases, Eastern equine encephalitis and West Nile virus, are also found in North Carolina. While Eastern equine encephalitis is found largely in the eastern part of the state, West Nile virus is found statewide.

Donald Dewhurst, M.D. of Macon County Public Health said La Crosse symptoms occur from a few days up to two weeks after being bitten by an infected mosquito. These symptoms include fever, headache, nausea and vomiting. There may be neurologic symptoms such as confusion or loss of balance and in more severe cases, convulsions or coma may occur. Children and the elderly are the most susceptible to the disease.

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