Massive mosquitoes invade North Carolina following Florence

Hurricane Florence has brought swarms of aggressive mosquitoes nearly three times larger than regular mosquitoes to North Carolina, which is still recovering from the massive storm.

Massive mosquitoes invaded Cumberland County, North Carolina following Florence and residents are reporting a mosquito outbreak unlike any they have ever experienced.

Robert Phillips of Eastover, N.C, was almost immediately swarmed by aggressive mosquitoes when he walked onto his porch on Tuesday night.

The 3/8 of an inch long mosquito was among the biggest he’s ever seen.

“A bad science fiction movie,” Phillips said. “They were inundating me, and one landed on me. It was like a small blackbird. I told my wife, ‘Gosh, look at the size of this thing.’ I told her that I guess I’m going to have to use a shotgun on these things if they get any bigger.”

The storm’s rainwater ? nearly 20 inches in some areas of the county ? has created breeding grounds for large and aggressive mosquitoes.

Cumberland County will begin mosquito-control spraying on Monday in Fayetteville and the surrounding areas, because of the increased population of mosquitoes caused by flooding from the hurricane.

The county Health Department has run out of dunks that it was issuing for free to help residents and businesses prevent mosquitoes from breeding on their property.

In related news, actor Sean Penn and celebrity chef José Andrés, visited Robeson County as their charitable organizations provided disaster relief to people suffering from Hurricane Florence.

The death toll from Hurricane Florence has increased to 48 in three states, 37 of them in North Carolina, nearly two weeks after the eye of the storm reached the Carolinas.

Gov. Roy Cooper said 1,500 people still remain in shelters and at least 550 people have enrolled in a program to stay in hotels while longer-term housing is arranged.

Cooper is ordering $4 million to be spent on mosquito control efforts for counties under a major disaster declaration, where all the standing water in is the perfect breeding ground for the disease-carrying insects.

In passing from host to host, some species of mosquitoes transmit extremely harmful infections such as malaria, yellow fever, Chikungunya, West Nile virus, dengue fever, filariasis, Zika virus and other arboviruses, rendering them the deadliest animal family in the world.

About two weeks after the Category 4 hurricane slammed Puerto Rico, last September, an official death toll was 16 but a team of George Washington University researchers, who performed an analysis commissioned by the Puerto Rican government, found that the storm had claimed nearly 3,000 lives.

“There’s no doubt there will be many deaths beyond the official death toll for Hurricane Florence because of the broader infrastructure failure that will continue to impact people’s health,” said Dr. Lynn Goldman, who led the George Washington study.


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