Oconee County has received confirmation from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) of a positive test result of West Nile Virus from their routine mosquito surveillance program.
This is not an uncommon occurrence as the virus has been around for many years. West Nile Virus is transmitted to people and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito and has been reported in 46 of 50 States.
NO animal or human infection cases have been confirmed in Oconee County this season.
SCDHEC continues their testing and surveillance program to keep Oconee County and Municipalities informed. We will continue to provide updates as they are received. The best way to prevent the spread of the West Nile Virus is to eliminate the breeding ground for mosquitoes and their habitats. Oconee County is asking our citizens to help to reduce the potential for illness in our community.
How you can help:
• Reduce the numbers of adult mosquitoes around your home. o Drain or eliminate sites that have standing water.
• Gutters with standing water
• Animal water dishes- refresh their water frequently
• Discarded tires
• Empty or throw away any other containers that have standing water.
• Keep mosquitoes outside: Use air conditioning or make sure that you repair and use window/door screens.
• Avoid Mosquitoes: Most mosquito species bite during dawn, dusk, twilight hours, and night. Some species bite during the day, especially in wooded or other shaded areas. Avoid exposure during these times and in these areas.
• Wear insect repellent: Yes! It is safe. When used as directed, insect repellent is the BEST way to protect yourself from mosquito bites—even children and pregnant women should protect themselves.
• DEET: Products containing DEET include Cutter, OFF!, Skintastic.
• Picaridin (also known as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, and icaridin): Products containing picaridin include Cutter Advanced, Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus, and Autan outside the United States).
• Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or PMD: Repel contains OLE.
• IR3535: Products containing IR3535 include Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus Expedition and SkinSmart.
• Cover up: When weather permits, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants.
• Report dead birds: http://www.scdhec.gov/birdtesting/
The signs and symptoms of West Nile Virus are similar to those of the flu. Those most susceptible to the virus are the elderly, young, and immune depressed; 70-80% of infected individuals never notice the effects of the virus. If you feel you may have these symptoms, please visit your local healthcare provider.
For additional information, please visit or contact the following:
South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control: http://www.scdhec.gov/mosquitoes/
Jim Beasley: 803-898-7769, SCDHEC Public Information Officer
Center for Disease Control: