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North Carolina officials keep watch on mosquito populations

In the StarNewsOnline

By

A horse in northern New Hanover County tested positive for eastern equine encephalitis last week. Confirmation from the state is still pending, but the horse is likely the third in eastern North Carolina to die from the disease this year.

Marie Hemmen, vector control manager with New Hanover County, said EEE is transmitted by a bog mosquito, the culiseta melanura. Two interns in Hemmen’s office used microscopes to classify the mosquitoes that had been trapped. A mosquito trap set up near the county’s flock of sentinel chickens in Castle Hayne showed a preponderance of melanura mosquitoes. Two chickens from the sentinel flock were infected last week.

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