“Tip and Toss” is the message local officials are sharing to encourage individuals to protect themselves against the spread of mosquito-borne diseases, which most commonly occur from June to September. By eliminating mosquito breeding areas and taking other preventive measures, residents can reduce the likelihood of being bitten.
Increasing mosquito prevention education and monitoring is a top priority for both health and government officials. To ensure the safety of Cabarrus residents, the Cabarrus Health Alliance (CHA) has received additional support and resources from our mosquito prevention partners: Cabarrus County Government, City of Concord, City of Kannapolis, Town of Harrisburg, and Town of Mt. Pleasant.
Mosquito-borne infections including, LaCrosse encephalitis and West Nile virus, are common in North Carolina. In Cabarrus County there were no reported cases of mosquito borne diseases, including LaCrosse encephalitis and West Nile virus, in 2015. At this time, no cases of the mosquito-borne Zika virus infection or transmission have been reported in North Carolina. Five travel-related cases of Zika virus have been confirmed in the state, none in Cabarrus County.
“Mosquitoes are common in our area, especially as the warmer months approach, but we can take measures to limit the risk of being bitten and contracting a mosquito-borne infection,” said Dr. William Pilkington, Cabarrus Health Alliance Health Director. “With concerns around the spread of the Zika virus, we can use the Tip and Toss practices to protect ourselves and our neighbors from the spread of Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases.”
While the primary mosquitoes that carry Zika virus are not believed to be widespread in North Carolina, individuals are encouraged, as a routine precaution, to take the following steps to prevent mosquito breeding and bites.
Prevent Mosquito Breeding:
• Tip or empty containers in your yard that can collect standing water from flowerpots, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes and birdbaths at least weekly.
• Securely cover unused swimming pools and cement ponds.
• Clean gutters so water runs freely.
• Be sure to tightly secure screens on all openings on rain barrels used for water conservation.
• Mosquito-proof your home by installing or repairing screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes outside, and use air conditioning if you have it.
• Toss or throw away any trash or leaves that may be around your home or in rain gutters.
Protect Yourself - Reduce exposure:
• Use repellents that contains DEET (30% or less for adults, 10% or less for children) to prevent mosquito bites.
• Wear clothing, such as long pants, long sleeve shirts and socks if possible.
• Avoid activities in areas with lots of mosquitoes, and going outdoors at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
For more information on the prevention mosquito-borne illnesses, visit www.cabarrushealth.org
and click the “Tip and Toss” button.
For more information on the Zika virus and up to date travel advisories, visit http://www.cdc.gov/zika/
About Cabarrus Health Alliance: Cabarrus Health Alliance is the public health authority of Cabarrus County. Cabarrus Health Alliance is an autonomous organization and provider of services and programs designed to meet the needs of public health. Cabarrus Health Alliance is a leader in public health and nationally recognized for its innovation.