Category Archives: Prevention

World Mosquito Day Isn’t A Day Off For The Pesky Insect

Although World Mosquito Day is just around the corner, don’t expect the pesky insects to take a holiday. They’ll be as active as ever, which means we must continue to be vigilant in avoiding bites.

World Mosquito Day, which is August 20, was established in 1897, when the link between mosquitoes and malaria transmission was discovered by Sir Ronald Ross. The intent was to raise awareness about malaria and how it can be prevented, as well as raise money to help find a cure.

These days, the observance provides the perfect opportunity to remind people about the host of diseases mosquitoes can spread, to include West Nile and Zika. The most common diseases that could potentially be carried by mosquitoes in South Carolina, home to at least 61 different species, include: West NileEastern Equine EncephalitisLa Crosse encephalitis, Saint Louis encephalitis virus, and dog/cat heartworm.

Although August 20 is the mosquito’s day, so to speak, DHEC urges residents to not feed or house the insects. Take precautions to avoid mosquito bites and rid your home and yard of areas where they breed. Follow the following guidance:

Reduce the numbers of adult mosquitoes around your home.

  • Drain, fill or eliminate sites that have standing water.
  • Empty or throw away containers — from bottles and jars to tires and kiddie pools — 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: When used as directed, insect repellent is the BEST way to protect yourself from mosquito bites—even children and pregnant women should protect themselves. Choose a repellent that contain one of the following:

  • 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.
  • More repellent information

Cover up: When weather permits, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants.

So, apply the repellent, empty or get rid of containers in your yard holding water and have a Happy World Mosquito Day.

Click here to learn more about protecting yourself and your home from mosquitoes.

Visit the DHEC website to learn more about mosquitoes and the diseases they can spread.

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.

DHEC in the News: Immunizations, West Nile virus, new health center

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

One “Shot” for a Healthy Child Going Back to School

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) – As the little ones get ready to return to school there’s one “shot” to make sure your children stay healthy.

Wednesday (8/16) morning the South Carolina Immunization Coalition along with DHEC kicked off Vaccination Awareness Week at Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital.

Spraying starts after West Nile virus seen in South Carolina

ROCK HILL, S.C. (AP) — Officials are spraying a 1-square mile (3-sq. kilometer) area in South Carolina for mosquitoes after a West Nile virus diagnosis.

Rock Hill officials said spraying would be conducted Wednesday and end around 1 a.m. Thursday near a fire station in the southern part of the city.

General Interest

New USC Health Center is so much more than a doctor’s office

COLUMBIA, SC The four-story, 68,000-square-foot building under construction at the heart of campus over the past two years finally is done.

Vaccines aren’t just for children; everyone should get them

August is National Immunization Awareness Month and the South Carolina Legislature has designated August 14-21, 2017 as South Carolina Immunization Week.

It is important that everyone get immunized to help protect against disease and even prevent some cancers. Vaccines are recommended for everyone throughout our lives.

If you are a State Health Plan primary member, you can get vaccines to arm you against many diseases at no cost to you. The Public Employee Benefit Authority (PEBA) perk includes flu, shingles, tetanus, pneumonia, HPV shots and more. In fact, all the adult vaccines the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends for your age range, health conditions and risk factors are available at no cost to you at a network provider.

Vaccines are one of the safest ways to protect not just your own health, bu​t the health of those around you. Make sure you check with your health care provider to see which vaccines offer you your best shot at a healthy future.

For more information on what immunizations you and your family need, visit cdc.gov/vaccines.

 

DHEC in the News: West Nile virus, new operating room, Palmetto Health fine

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

Avoid mosquito bites to defend against the West Nile virus

It is mosquito season and West Nile virus has made its way to Beaufort County. Now is the time to take action to protect ourselves from becoming infected with West Nile or other mosquito-borne diseases.

Working together, we can reduce the chances of people getting the disease among the many who live, work and play in this wonderful coastal community. Every local government, business, school, neighborhood association, community organization and individual has a role to play.

OR open for business

The Williamsburg Regional Hospital (WRH) was no match for the October 2015 flood. Severe damage to key areas of the building forced administration to close her doors. Since then a temporary hospital was constructed on the same site. The facility functions as a regular hospital with the exception of an operating room. Fortunately, that changed on August 8.

“We are so excited,” said WRH CEO Sharon Poston after a final inspection of the new operating room by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).

Palmetto Health fined for mishandling hazardous waste

The Palmetto Health Richland has been fined $28,000 by DHEC for mishandling hazardous materials.

Among the violations were that hospital staff failed to keep containers holding hazardous waste closed during storage; failed to mark containers of hazardous waste; failed to maintain aisle space to allow the unobstructed movement of personnel and emergency equipment; and failed to properly keep manifests of the materials.

DHEC ordered the hospital to rectify the situations, keep proper records and institute a training program in addition to the fine.