First SC West Nile Virus death reported in Anderson Co. - FOX Carolina 21

First SC West Nile Virus death reported in Anderson Co.

Posted: Updated:
(Source: Associated Press) (Source: Associated Press)
ANDERSON, SC (FOX Carolina) -

An individual in Anderson County has died due to West Nile Virus, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

DHEC officials said in 2017, the agency has confirmed seven human cases, 10 infected birds and 55 infected mosquito samples.

The death in Anderson County is the first in the state linked to West Nile Virus for 2017.

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.

On Friday, the Anderson County Sheriff's Office Emergency Management Division released this statement after West Nile was found in Anderson County.

Anderson County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Management Division learned of a confirmed case of West Nile Virus in our area from South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).

It is unknown at this time how or where the individual contracted the disease; however, immediately after notification by DHEC, Emergency Management, in close coordination with the City of Anderson, began implementing mitigation and abatement efforts to reduce mosquito infestation near the affected individual’s residence.

County and city employees went door-to-door in a ½-mile radius of the affected area to notify residents and provide educational brochures about West Nile Virus as well as plans for areal spraying in accordance with DHEC-prescribed action.

Mosquito eradication spraying has been conducted twice within a one-mile radius and a final spraying is scheduled to occur in the next 7-10 days. Additionally, properties that had standing water - typical breeding grounds for mosquitoes - including old kiddie pools, puddles in yards, and other types of water-collecting-debris, were identified and cleared.

Residents are reminded of the most effective ways to prevent mosquito-borne illnesses, including West Nile Virus:

  • Repellents help keep mosquitoes from biting. Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of 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.

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

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