SC's first West Nile case found in Charleston Co. - FOX Carolina 21

SC's first West Nile case found in Charleston Co.

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COLUMBIA, SC (FOX Carolina) -

A Charleston County woman is the state's first case of West Nile virus infection, according to the state Department of Health and Environmental Control.

State Epidemiologist Linda Bell said the woman's infection was found during a screening after she donated blood.

"All donated blood is routinely screened for (West Nile virus) to ensure the safety of our blood supply," Bell said.

Bell said that the virus is a disease of birds that is transmitted to humans and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito. She said that mosquitos become infected after feeding on infected birds.

People who are infected with West Nile become ill within two to 14 days, Bell said. She said symptoms can include fever, headache, joint pain, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, inflammation of the eyelids and a rash. She said only 1 percent of people infected with the virus develop a fatal swelling of the brain.

Bell said the woman who was infected with the virus is recovering.

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