Category Archives: Disease Control

Combating mosquitoes is an inside/outside job

Families and individuals play a big role in helping control the mosquito population as well as the spread of diseases the pesky insects spread. It’s an inside/outside job.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends you do the following to protect yourself and your family:

Control mosquitoes outside your home

Remove standing water where mosquitoes could lay eggs

  • Once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out any items that hold water like tires, buckets, planters, toys, pools, birdbaths, flowerpot saucers, or trash containers. Mosquitoes lay eggs near water.

Kill mosquitoes outside your home

  • Use an outdoor insect spray made to kill mosquitoes in areas where they rest.
  • Mosquitoes rest in dark, humid areas like under patio furniture, or under the carport or garage.

Control mosquitoes inside your home

Keep mosquitoes out

  • Install or repair and use window and door screens. Do not leave doors propped open.
  • Use air conditioning when possible.

Remove standing water where mosquitoes could lay eggs

  • Once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out any items that hold water like vases and flowerpot saucers. Mosquitoes lay eggs near water.

Kill mosquitoes inside your home

  • Kill mosquitoes inside your home. Use an indoor insect fogger or indoor insect spray to kill mosquitoes and treat areas where they rest.
  • Mosquitoes rest in dark, humid places like under the sink, in closets, under furniture, or in the laundry room.

Visit the CDC’s website for more information on controlling mosquitoes at home. You can also find information on mosquitoes by visiting DHEC’s website.

DHEC in the News: West Nile Virus, Infant Sleep Safety, Mt. Pleasant Water, Assisted Living Facility

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

Hurricane Matthew continues to leave its mark on Beaufort County with West Nile cases

(Beaufort, SC – Island Packet) Just two human cases of the West Nile virus have ever been confirmed in Beaufort County — both within eight months of Hurricane Matthew.

Gregg Hunt, Beaufort County Mosquito Control director, said the timing of the events is no coincidence.

“Hurricane Matthew has played a major role in what we’re seeing,” Hunt said.

“After Hurricane Matthew, a lot of debris had fallen into standing water caused by the flooding and tidal waves,” he said. “And organic material decaying in the water produces an ideal breeding ground for that kind of mosquito (that carries West Nile) … That’s what set the tone after the hurricane.”

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According to the Department of Health and Environmental Control, about 1 in 5 people who are infected with the West Nile virus will develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash. These people likely will have a full recovery, but fatigue and weakness could last for weeks or months.

Less than 1 percent of those infected will develop a serious neurological illness such as encephalitis or meningitis, according to the release.

Mom’s heartbreaking Facebook post raises awareness about safe sleeping conditions for babies

(Greenville, SC – FOX Carolina) According to DHEC, 194 babies died between 2009 and 2015 in South Carolina due of unsafe sleeping conditions, making this the third leading cause of infant deaths in the state.

“This cause of death is 100 percent preventable,” said Michelle Greco, manager of the Child Abuse Prevention Program at Greenville Health System.

Greco says babies under 1 year of age should sleep in a crib or bassinet with a fitted sheet and a firm mattress.

“Anytime that an infant under the first year of life is put down to sleep it needs to be treated the same,” said Greco, “They need to be alone with no other people, pets or objects.”

Mt. Pleasant residents ‘trying to have faith’ as they wait on results of DHEC water tests

(Mt. Pleasant, SC – ABC News4)  Several people living in Mount Pleasant want answers to concerns over water quality, and DHEC is now doing something about it.

Tuesday, workers were in Mount Pleasant testing water samples. It’s all part of an effort to find out if there is something in the water that could pose a health hazard.

DHEC samples were taken from three houses in the Mount Pleasant area. Officials with Mount Pleasant Waterworks said they chose those areas because of recent concerns.

Charleston assisted living facility where woman was killed by nearby alligator could face enforcement from DHEC

(Charleston, SC – Post and Courier) …Department of Health and Environmental Control investigators found [Brookdale Charleston] staff did not follow their own guidelines to conduct night checks on [Bonnie] Walker, a plan put in place when she had wandered off before. She had left the facility days prior “looking to go home,” and staff decided she needed to be housed in a memory care unit.

Now Brookdale Charleston could be facing enforcement action from DHEC. Representatives of the facility met with state officials June 13. A spokesman for DHEC said the two parties are “working on finalizing a consent order.” Brookdale declined to comment on the matter.

Such meetings are an opportunity for a facility to present any evidence of their own, said Pam Dukes, formerly a health regulator with DHEC. It would be “very unusual” for the negotiation not to end in enforcement, Dukes explained, which could mean a fine or a license suspension.

For more health and environmental news, check Live Healthy SC regularly.

Want To Know The Best Way To Protect Yourself From Mosquito Bites?

When used as directed, insect repellent is the best way to protect yourself from mosquito bites and the diseases mosquitoes can spread.

It’s important that you use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents with one of the active ingredients below.

  • 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.

EPA-registered insect repellents  – when used correctly – are proven safe and effective, even for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Visit the EPA website for help finding the repellent that’s right for you.

Here are a few tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

For Everyone

  • Always follow the product label instructions.
  • Reapply insect repellent as directed.
  • Do not spray repellent on the skin under clothing.
  • If you are also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen first and insect repellent second.

For Babies and Children

  • Always follow instructions when applying insect repellent to children.
  • Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months old.
  • Do not apply insect repellent onto a child’s hands, eyes, mouth, and cut or irritated skin.
  • Adults: Spray insect repellent onto your hands and then apply to a child’s face.
  • Do not use products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthane-diol (PMD) on children under 3 years old.

Visit the EPA website to learn more. You can also find more information about preventing mosquito bites at the DHEC website and the CDC website.

DHEC in the News: Opiods, bats, rising sea level

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

Midlands Deputies Use Narcan to Fight Opioid Epidemic

Kershaw County, SC (WLTX) – The opioid epidemic is becoming a major problem in our state and now one county’s deputies have a new tool that could save lives.

Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office deputies are being trained how to use Narcan, a life-saving opiate overdose antidote. …

“Police officers get to the area a lot earlier,” DHEC EMS Director Arnold Alier said of the importance of law enforcement officers having Narcan.

DHEC warns Myrtle Beach condo residents about rabies after multiple bat sighting

Myrtle Beach, S.C. (WPDE) — A letter was recently sent to residents at Magnolia North Condos, in Myrtle Beach, after multiple bat sightings were reported, including one incident where a bat was inside a condo.

The letter from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control says that on June 20th there was a report of a bat inside a condo and additional bat sightings have been reported over the past eight months around the complex.

General Interest

New warnings on sea rise

Downtown Charleston flooded on roughly one out of every seven days last year. That’s more than just a record-breaking number of tidal inundations, it’s an alarming warning of a much wetter future for the city.

It’s a call to action.

Maybe the 50 flooded days Charleston endured in 2016 represent an outlier. After all, the previous record, set in 2015, was 38 days. It was 11 in 2014.

DHEC in the News: South Carolina Adopt-a-Stream program, Reedy Falls, mosquito control grant

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

The SCAAS program, which will mirror the Georgia Adopt-a-Stream (GAAAS) program, will promote and expand existing South Carolina volunteer stream monitoring efforts by providing volunteer monitors with a website for information, a database to maintain water quality monitoring data, training classes and materials, and other useful resources. Many volunteer organizations in South Carolina have already been using the Georgia program to monitor and record water quality in the streams and rivers around the Palmetto State.

  • The City of Greenville has begun a restoration project on Reedy Falls.

The stream bank restoration project is expected to take a week. Boulders are being placed along the Reedy River bank to help prevent erosion and create a safer slope between the river and sidewalk.

The grant provides funds to purchase additional insecticides and improved spraying equipment as well as to help pay for training in effective mosquito control procedures.