DHEC: Mosquitoes, bird test positive for West Nile in Greenville - FOX Carolina 21

DHEC: Mosquitoes, bird test positive for West Nile in Greenville Co.

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(file/FOX Carolina) (file/FOX Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control said mosquitoes in Greenville County have tested positive for West Nile Virus.

In the data released on Aug. 15, DHEC said nine samples from mosquito pools and one bird in Greenville County tested positive for the virus. Officials said the "pools" are composed of between one and 30 mosquitoes collected from the same location on the same date.

Mosquitoes can spread the virus to humans and other animals after feeding on infected birds. DHEC said most people infected with West Nile are bitten by an infected mosquito. It can also be spread from human to human through blood transfusions, organ transplants, pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Approximately 70 to 80 percent of people infected with West Nile virus do not experience symptoms. One in five people will develop illness with fever and other symptoms, including headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea and rash.

Less than one percent of those infected develop severe neurological illness like encephalitis or meningitis. Approximately 10 percent of people who develop neurological infection due to West Nile will die according to the Center for Disease Control.

DHEC released the following tips for preventing exposure:

  • Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR 3535 according to label instructions. Repellents help keep mosquitoes from biting.
  • Wear clothing that reduces the risk of skin exposure.
  • Avoid exposure during times when and in the places where mosquitoes are known to be active. Exposure to mosquitoes is most common at night and during the early morning. Some species bite during the day, especially in wooded or other shaded areas.
  • 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, bird baths, old car tires, rain gutters and pet bowls.

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