Greenwood Co. sees first West Nile cases since 2003 - FOX Carolina 21

Greenwood Co. sees first West Nile cases since 2003

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GREENWOOD, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Two people have contracted West Nile in Greenwood County - the first time the virus has been found in the county since 2003.

West Nile is a virus that is carried by birds. Humans contract the disease when they are bitten by a mosquito which has fed on an infected bird. Symptoms mimic the flu and include fever, headache, joint pain, muscle pain and occasionally nausea and vomiting.

The state Department of Health and Environmental Control said the two cases of the bug-borne illness in Greenwood County were reported to the agency on Aug. 29 and Sept. 6.

In 2003, three birds in the county tested positive for the West Nile virus.

According to DHEC, 28 people have contracted the illness in South Carolina this year.

An elderly Aiken County resident died from the disease earlier this month - the only death from the disease in South Carolina this year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 2,636 people have been infected nationwide this year - a record number since the disease was first found in the U.S. in 1999. Nearly 120 cases of the illness were fatal.

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