DHEC: 11 cases of West Nile Virus confirmed in SC, 1 death - FOX Carolina 21

DHEC: 11 cases of West Nile Virus confirmed in SC, 1 death

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

South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) said a total of 11 cases of West Nile Virus have been confirmed in the state, and one person in Anderson County who contracted the mosquito-borne illness has died.

DHEC said human cases have been confirmed in Anderson, Beaufort, Greenville, Horry, Richland, Union, and York counties. The virus has also been detected in one horse, 13 birds, and 75 mosquito samples.

DHEC said the risk of serious illness is low. 8 out of 10 people will have no symptoms, but 1 in 5 will become ill within two days of being infected. Symptoms include fever, headache, joint pain, muscle pain, diarrhea, rash, and occasionally nausea and vomiting.

About 1 in 150 people infected develop more severe symptoms, such as encephalitis, the swelling of the brain, or meningitis, the inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. Both can be fatal.

DHEC said other serious symptoms include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness, and paralysis.

DHEC recommends taking the following steps to limit exposure to mosquitoes:

  • Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR 3535 according to label instructions. Repellents help keep mosquitoes from biting.
  • Make sure that your doors and windows have tight-fitting screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
  • Eliminate all sources of standing water on your property, including flowerpots, clogged gutters, buckets, neglected swimming pools, plastic sheeting or tarps used to cover yard items, pool covers, wheel barrows, children's toys, birdbaths, old tires, rain gutters, pet bowls, and any other water-holding containers.
  • Wear light-colored clothing to cover your skin and reduce the risk of bites.

MORE NEWS: DHEC discuss prevention, new West Nile Virus cases

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