FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 7, 2017
DHEC identifies state's first West Nile Virus case of the 2017 season
COLUMBIA, S.C. - An individual on Hilton Head Island has been identified as the first person reported to be sick from
West Nile Virus in South Carolina this year, the state Department of Health and Environmental Control announced
DHEC stresses the importance of paying attention to the most effective ways to prevent mosquito-borne illnesses:
- 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.
"If you develop fever or other symptoms after being bitten by a mosquito, you should contact your health care
provider," said Dr. Linda Bell, SC State Epidemiologist.
What are the symptoms of West Nile virus disease?
- Febrile illness in some people. About 1 in 5 people who are infected will develop a fever with other symptoms
such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Most people with this type of West Nile
virus disease recover completely, but fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months.
- Severe symptoms in a few people. Less than 1% of people who are infected will develop a serious neurologic
illness such as encephalitis or meningitis (inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues). The symptoms of
neurologic illness can include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, seizures, or
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.
DHEC Media Relations