Hurricane Florence brought the usual effects of a large storm like flooding, road closures and fallen trees. But North Carolina residents have also had to deal with something unexpected — mosquitoes.
An uptick in mosquito populations across North Carolina have been reported in the weeks following Florence, prompting government intervention to help mitigate their presence in affected areas.
On Sept. 26, Gov. Roy Cooper directed $4 million towards mosquito control efforts in 27 counties severely impacted by the storm. Allocation varies by county and is based on their share of the total acreage in need of mosquito treatment. Local officials will have flexibility in determining the most appropriate use of funds.
“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 in a press release.
Mosquito populations often rise following a weather event like Hurricane Florence. Most mosquitoes in North Carolina do not transmit human disease, but the threat remains. The most common diseases transmitted by mosquitoes in North Carolina are LaCrosse encephalitis, West Nile virus and Eastern equine encephalitis — which, in their most severe forms, can affect the nervous system or cause brain damage.