First West Nile virus case confirmed in SC


South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental control has confirmed its first case of West Nile Virus in South Carolina.

DHEC stresses the importance of paying attention to the most effective ways to prevent mosquito-borne illnesses:

  • Repellents help keep mosquitoes from biting. Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil lemon eucalyptus, or IR 3535 according to label instructions.
  • Make sure that your doors and windows have tight-fitting screens to keep out mosquitoes.
  • Eliminate all sources of standing water on your property, including flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, birdbaths, old car tires, rain gutters and pet bowls.
  • Wearing light-colored clothing to cover the skin reduces the risk of bites.

“If you develop fever or other symptoms after being bitten by a mosquito, you should contact your health car provider,” said Dr. Linda Bell, SC State Epidemiologist.

What are the symptoms of West Nile Virus Disease?

  • Febrile illness is some people. about 1 in 5 people who are infected will develop a fever with other symptoms such as a headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Most people with this type of West Nile Virus disease recover completely, but fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months.
  • Severe symptoms in a few people. Less than 1% of people who are infected will develop a serious neurologic illness such as encephalitis or meningitis (inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues). The symptoms of of neurologic illness can include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, seizures, or paralysis.

For more information about preventing mosquito bites and the spread of West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne illness, go to www.scdhec.gov/mosquitoes. Learn more about West Nile virus at www.scdhec.gov/westnile.

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