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.

Cases: 250869

Reported Deaths: 5481
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17010171
Hinds16091318
Harrison13250193
Rankin10629208
Jackson10216182
Lee8759141
Madison8186161
Jones6222109
Forrest5917118
Lauderdale5808180
Lowndes5309111
Lafayette491192
Lamar480465
Washington4770123
Bolivar3955106
Oktibbeha390380
Panola365076
Pontotoc361152
Monroe3521104
Warren344597
Union341458
Marshall339165
Neshoba3357152
Pearl River323295
Leflore2992105
Lincoln295685
Sunflower280469
Tate269560
Alcorn262653
Itawamba261159
Hancock260458
Pike259977
Scott244745
Prentiss244052
Yazoo242654
Tippah239749
Copiah239149
Simpson233967
Leake229564
Coahoma228554
Grenada217070
Covington210471
Marion208371
Adams203270
Winston199464
Wayne198730
George197938
Attala193158
Newton189142
Chickasaw182944
Tishomingo182159
Holmes168167
Jasper167735
Clay158233
Stone141520
Tallahatchie139234
Clarke137460
Calhoun135121
Smith119423
Yalobusha116134
Walthall111736
Noxubee110222
Greene109129
Montgomery109134
Carroll104121
Lawrence102117
Perry100531
Amite96825
Webster91924
Tunica86021
Claiborne85525
Jefferson Davis84025
Humphreys82624
Benton81023
Kemper76620
Quitman6838
Franklin65815
Choctaw60013
Wilkinson58325
Jefferson53419
Sharkey42417
Issaquena1596
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 420681

Reported Deaths: 6119
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson61755921
Mobile30058548
Madison26852186
Tuscaloosa20652266
Montgomery18876305
Shelby18421114
Baldwin16176182
Lee12393101
Morgan12175113
Etowah11687168
Calhoun11078200
Marshall10158107
Houston8556148
Cullman7999105
Limestone796274
Elmore7783101
DeKalb767197
Lauderdale752883
St. Clair7502120
Talladega6145108
Walker5880174
Jackson578841
Colbert529873
Blount529283
Autauga515455
Coffee438156
Dale394381
Franklin365248
Chilton335365
Covington326968
Russell326810
Escambia316142
Dallas302896
Chambers281869
Clarke279633
Tallapoosa2607107
Pike247629
Marion244650
Lawrence242547
Winston225535
Bibb214447
Geneva199535
Marengo197829
Pickens196231
Hale175442
Barbour172336
Butler168458
Fayette167126
Cherokee160030
Henry152721
Monroe145017
Randolph138835
Washington137026
Clay126145
Crenshaw118644
Lamar117519
Cleburne117223
Macon114335
Lowndes109535
Wilcox102621
Bullock98728
Perry96919
Conecuh94220
Sumter88826
Greene75723
Coosa60515
Choctaw51224
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