FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 20, 2017
COLUMBIA, SC - The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has confirmed eleven human cases of West Nile virus in South Carolina so far this year. One of the eleven, an individual in Anderson County, died last month. The virus has also been detected in one horse, 13 birds, and 75 mosquito samples.
Human cases have been confirmed in Anderson, Beaufort, Greenville, Horry, Richland, Union, and York counties.
Infected animal or mosquito samples have been confirmed in Anderson, Beaufort, Colleton, Greenville, Kershaw, Lexington, Richland, Saluda, and York counties.
Infected birds or mosquito samples have been confirmed in Beaufort, Greenville, Kershaw, Lexington, Richland, Saluda, Union, and York counties.
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.
When West Nile virus is confirmed in a local area, DHEC works with local officials and makes recommendations based on guidelines for controlling mosquito populations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), including:
Individuals should pay attention to the most effective ways to prevent mosquito-borne illnesses:
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