First West Nile mosquitoes of 2012 found in Beaufort

Flickr user mfophotos

For the first time during 2012 mosquitoes have test positive for the West Nile Virus in Beaufort. 

The virus was confirmed in a small group of mosquitoes found in the City of Beaufort.

As a reaction Beaufort County Mosquito Control has treated the area as well as retested area mosquitoes; all of which came back negative for the virus.

So far in 2012 the S.C. Department of Health has confirmed three other cases of the virus in the state. Those cases include one human in Charleston County, one horse in York County, and one bird in Richland County.

The virus is spread by infected mosquitoes and cannot be passed from person to person. Fortunately, when people do become infected with West Nile Virus most have no symptoms of illness. In some people (about 25%) may have a mild illness that includes fever, headache and body ache, sometimes accompanied by a rash or swollen lymph glands.

In less than 1% of the people infected, the severe form of encephalitis will be experienced with high fever, convulsions, stiff neck, tremors, headache, coma, stupor, disorientation, muscle weakness or paralysis. In a very few cases, mostly among the elderly, death may occur.

There are many things that you can do to help. Key is reducing the breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Be sure to empty any and all containers that hold standing water, and keep them emptied. You can reduce the possibility of this disease spreading even more by taking a few other simple steps:

  • Wear long sleeved shirts and long pants when you go outside
  • Stay inside at mosquito feeding time; dawn, dusk and early evening
  • Spray clothing with a mosquito repellant
  • Apply insect repellant to exposed skin
  • Report any dead birds you find

You can keep track of the cases and testing over at the SCDHEC website.

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