Giant mosquitoes multiplying after Florence

The governor of North Carolina has ordered $4 million to help control growing numbers of large mosquitoes that are breeding in floodwaters following Hurricane Florence.

Posted: Oct 2, 2018 9:34 AM
Updated: Oct 2, 2018 9:34 AM

A North Carolina man died after contracting a bacterial infection while doing yard work related to Hurricane Florence, according to CNN affiliate WECT.

Ron Phelps of Wilmington scraped his leg and it became infected, prompting doctors to amputate it, the station reported. But that wasn't enough to save him.

Phelps' family updated community members on his illness through a Facebook page with nearly 9,000 followers on which he would share photos and memories of the hometown he knew, WECT reported.

His niece ultimately announced his death. "I sadly need to tell you that Uncle Ronnie quietly passed away this morning. He loved being friends with each and every one of you," Paula Phelps Turner posted.

North Carolina has recorded 37 deaths related to Hurricane Florence, according to a statement Thursday from Gov. Roy Cooper's office. Most of these were due to vehicles caught in floodwater, but some have been cleanup-related.

At least eight deaths in South Carolina and three in Virginia have also been linked to the storm.

"We have seen some bacterial infections from cuts and scrapes" among those doing cleanup work, said David Howard, deputy director of public health in New Hanover County, where Wilmington is located.

"It really comes down to bacterial infections that are common in the environment that end up in floodwaters that people are not normally exposed to in a great quantity," he said.

The New Hanover Regional Medical Center said in an email that it has seen people for bug bites and stings, lacerations and puncture wounds, home oxygen issues, dialysis and stress- and anxiety-related issues.

Dr. De Winter, an emergency doctor at the hospital, told WECT, "We've seen a lot of heat-related illnesses associated with people working outside for long hours, getting tired and then potentially falling off roofs as well."

People with weakened immune systems, such as the elderly, are at particular risk for bacterial infections, Howard said. The health department has administered tetanus vaccinations to some involved in the cleanup efforts, who may also be at increased risk.

Authorities have warned residents to stay out of the water to avoid harmful bacteria and other infections. Officials from North and South Carolina have also warned about hazards such as mosquitoes, mold and snakes in the aftermath of the storm, which made landfall September 14 near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina.

"The public continues to swim in the ocean and sounds despite these advisories," said Todd Miller, executive director of the North Carolina Coastal Federation.

Cooper's office has listed other causes of death related to the hurricane as suicides, drowning, falls and injuries related to cleanup efforts, such as a tree that fell on a man as he was cleaning debris.

Two of North Carolina's largest industries, hog farming and coal power generation, are also creating health risks for residents. Overflowing waste pits from hog farms contain bacteria like salmonella and E. coli, while coal ash contains heavy metals such as lead, mercury and arsenic.

Wilma Subra, a chemist and environmental health scientist in Louisiana, previously told CNN that residents should be concerned about contamination in their yards and homes. She cautioned people to use protective gear when cleaning up, as even health threats common in other hurricanes like exposure to sewage could be a problem.

"That's what happened after Katrina. They went back and got boils on their legs" from exposure to sewage, Subra said.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 16322

Reported Deaths: 782
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds106626
Lauderdale76068
Madison75727
Neshoba72244
Jones68632
Scott66212
Forrest59239
DeSoto5598
Leake45412
Rankin4538
Holmes44130
Copiah3254
Jackson30914
Attala30718
Yazoo2914
Newton2834
Lincoln27829
Leflore27336
Oktibbeha26714
Monroe26725
Harrison2657
Lamar2485
Lowndes2419
Wayne2353
Pearl River21231
Pike20511
Adams20216
Washington1947
Noxubee1936
Warren19110
Lee1857
Covington1772
Jasper1664
Bolivar16611
Clarke15519
Smith15311
Lafayette1504
Kemper14911
Chickasaw14014
Coahoma1284
Winston1221
Clay1184
Carroll11611
Marion1169
Claiborne1145
Lawrence1081
Simpson1040
Grenada1003
Yalobusha976
Sunflower933
Itawamba907
Hancock9012
Tate881
Union867
Montgomery861
Panola853
Marshall853
Wilkinson859
Jefferson Davis813
Tippah7611
Webster673
Calhoun674
Amite651
Walthall630
Humphreys607
Tunica563
Prentiss533
Perry513
Choctaw482
Pontotoc453
Jefferson421
Tishomingo350
Greene331
Stone320
Quitman310
Tallahatchie301
Franklin292
George281
Alcorn191
Benton140
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 18554

Reported Deaths: 651
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2284118
Jefferson1884103
Montgomery182343
Tuscaloosa82216
Marshall7059
Franklin5788
Lee55834
Shelby52220
Tallapoosa43266
Butler41918
Walker3812
Elmore3729
Chambers35926
Madison3464
Morgan2981
Unassigned2972
Baldwin2929
Dallas2873
Etowah26212
Lowndes25912
DeKalb2573
Autauga2395
Coffee2391
Sumter2287
Houston2265
Bullock2156
Pike2080
Colbert1872
Hale1799
Russell1770
Barbour1771
Marengo1746
Lauderdale1692
Calhoun1653
Wilcox1547
Choctaw15310
Cullman1501
Clarke1492
St. Clair1311
Randolph1287
Marion12411
Dale1230
Pickens1215
Talladega1175
Limestone1080
Chilton1051
Greene954
Winston910
Macon874
Jackson833
Henry812
Covington811
Crenshaw783
Bibb761
Escambia753
Washington726
Blount631
Lawrence510
Monroe452
Geneva440
Perry420
Conecuh411
Coosa401
Cherokee383
Clay282
Lamar260
Fayette160
Cleburne151
Tupelo
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