Released on Tuesday, September 26, 2017 at 9:00 AM
Meagan Utsey, Administrative Services Director
Two horses in the Walterboro area of Colleton County have been confirmed to be infected with West Nile Virus.
Colleton County is following recommendations from DHEC and the Centers for Disease Control by:
- Spraying for adult mosquitoes near the reported case;
- Removing mosquito habitats such as standing water ranging from wastewater areas to bird baths, old tires, or any container that holds water;
- Treating mosquito larvae, especially in storm drains with leaf litter or any other containers that cannot be turned over or discarded.
Individuals should pay attention to the most effective ways to prevent mosquito-borne illnesses:
- 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.
The risk of serious illness or death from West Nile virus is low. Most people (8 out of 10) infected with West Nile virus have no symptoms. About one in five people infected becomes ill within two to 14 days with symptoms including 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 a potentially fatal swelling of the brain, known as encephalitis, or inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord, known as meningitis. Other serious symptoms include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness, and paralysis.
For more information about preventing mosquito bites and the spread of West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses, go to www.scdhec.gov/mosquitoes. Learn more about West Nile virus at www.scdhec.gov/westnile.