KANNAPOLIS, N.C. - Officials with the Cabarrus County Health Alliance confirmed on Wednesday night that a 77-year-old woman died after complications from the West Nile virus several days ago.
West Nile virus cases have now hit five counties including Mecklenburg and Cabarrus, stated the Department of Health and Human Services in a news release. A death was also reported in Wayne County.
"We've done more treatments for them. We feel that's partly due to the mild winter," said Mike Seifert, the vice president of Pest Control Authority.
He said due to the mild winter a generation of mosquitoes did not die off, leading to a 10 percent boost in business for the company, but serious problems for others.
The Cabarrus Health Alliance said they were unsure if the 77-year-old Kannapolis woman who died became infected by a mosquito in Cabarrus County. The health department said it was stepping up patrols and treating for mosquito larvae.
Experts said with recent rain flooding parts of Charlotte, you should help the efforts by making sure you don't have standing water that allows mosquitoes to reproduce.
"Bird baths, flower pots, they can grow in these things," Seifert said.
Officials called this the worst outbreak of West Nile virus in the state since 2004. In just the past week, West Nile cases have gone up 40 percent nationwide.