Mosquito-borne Illness

a photo of an aedes aegypi mosquito
James Gathany / Flickr Creative Commons

Scientists investigating the Zika virus are asking people who have been exposed to mosquito-borne illnesses while visiting tropical regions to donate blood for research.

Travelers to parts of Africa, Southeast Asia, India, and Central and South America may be eligible to participate.

The Aedes aegypti mosquito is known as the primary carrier of the Zika virus.
U.S. Department of Agriculture

The Wake County Health Department confirmed another case of the Zika virus this week.

It is the fifth confirmed case in North Carolina since the outbreak in Brazil. But scientists here say differences in mosquito species, climate and lifestyle make it much more difficult for the virus to spread. 

Host Frank Stasio talks with Michael Reiskind, entomology professor at North Carolina State University, about why he thinks a Zika outbreak in North Carolina is not likely.

Aedes aegypti mosquito
James Gathany / CDC

Health care professionals and researchers across the state are ramping up to assist in the fight against the mosquito-borne Zika virus. 

Infections in pregnant women in Brazil are thought to be behind a steep increase in cases of microcephaly  in that country.  The condition results in babies having abnormally small brains and heads.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

State health officials have confirmed the first death from West Nile virus in North Carolina this year.   The Department of Health and Human Services says the victim was an adult in Wilson County.  Privacy rules do not allow the age, name or gender to be disclosed.