COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) on Friday announced that one person in the Pee Dee Region has tested positive for West Nile virus.
While most people who contract West Nile virus have no symptoms, about 20% of people experience symptoms such as a fever, headaches, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or a rash. Less than 1% of people may “develop a serious neurologic illness such as encephalitis or meningitis.”
Three mosquito samples also tested positive, however State Public Health Entomologist, Dr. Chris Evans, said “identifying mosquitos carrying West Nile virus in our state is not uncommon.”
Rather, Evans said that “a positive identification should serve as a reminder of the importance of preventing mosquito bites.”
DHEC suggests doing the following to prevent mosquito bites:
- Eliminate all sources of standing water on your property, including flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, birdbaths, old car tires, rain gutters, and pet bowls.
- Repellents help keep mosquitoes from biting. Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, IR3535, or 2-undecanone according to label instructions.
- Wearing light-colored clothing to cover skin reduces the risk of bites.
- Make sure that your doors and windows have tight-fitting screens to keep out mosquitoes.