DHEC in the News: West Nile, shark bites, eclipse

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

As more mosquito pools test positive for West Nile, Midlands residents advised to protect themselves

COLUMBIA, SC — State health officials reported more West Nile-positive mosquito pools in Richland County this year than all other areas of the state combined.

As of August 15, 22 virus-positive pools were found in Richland County compared to 9 each in Greenville and Beaufort counties and 2 in York County, DHEC reported on its 2017 West Nile map. More birds in this area have tested positive for the virus as well.

Area governments have announced aggressive spraying campaigns to keep mosquito populations in check but citizens are encouraged to take responsibility for their own and their family’s health.

8 confirmed shark bites this summer on Hilton Head. Why so many?

Carrie Rogiers was shocked to find out a shark was responsible for the “Freddy-Krueger-like” marks on her daughter’s left foot.

The bite came July 20 as 8-year-old Ellie, of Fort Thomas, Ky., was swimming in shallow water on Hilton Head Island’s South Forest Beach.

“Something bit me,” the child shouted as she ran from the surf.

General Interest

Could a cloudy eclipse day mean a mass exodus – and traffic nightmare – for Columbia?

COLUMBIA, SC — As hard as it is to predict what Columbia will be like for Monday’s once-in-a-lifetime total eclipse, a questionable weather forecast isn’t making it any easier.

If it’s cloudy in the capital city, it’s possible many of the tens or even hundreds of thousands of people expected in town could consider fleeing on short notice to find clearer vantage points – perhaps to the Upstate.

That could mean a “nightmare” on the roads, said Tiffany Wright, a spokeswoman for AAA Carolinas.

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