FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 30, 2012
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Three more cases of West Nile Virus in humans have been confirmed in South Carolina, the state Department of Health and Environmental Control announced today.
"The new cases are a middle-aged man from Orangeburg County, a middle-aged man from Lexington County, and a middle-aged man from Richland County," said Linda Bell, M.D., Interim State Epidemiologist. "Combined with the case identified in a Charleston County woman last week, we now have identified a total of four human cases."
Dr. Bell said that WNV is a disease of birds transmitted to humans and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected after feeding on infected birds. People bitten by an infected mosquito may become ill within 2 to 14 days with flu-like symptoms, including fever, headache, joint pain, muscle pain, and occasionally nausea and vomiting. Often they experience sensitivity to light and inflammation of the eyelids. Some may have a rash.
"The most important step anyone can take to prevent West Nile virus infection is to protect against being bitten by a mosquito," said Dr. Bell. "The risk of serious illness is low. Less than one percent of people infected develop a potentially fatal swelling of the brain, known as encephalitis."
In addition to the human cases, WNV has been detected in one dead crow, one horse, and one mosquito pool in S.C. so far this season.
DHEC recommends citizens pay attention to the "four Ds" as the most effective ways to prevent WNV:
For more information about WNV, visit DHEC's West Nile Virus webpage and http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/index.htm.
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