Tag Archives: mosquito-borne diseases

Beware: Mosquitoes are still active

Although the weather is turning cooler, don’t be fooled. The pesky mosquito is still with us and will be until temperatures are consistently cold enough to drive the insect away.

Cold snaps can help reduce the likelihood of excessive mosquito breeding. That’s because mosquitoes are cold-blooded and do not thrive in cooler temperatures. Mosquitoes shut down for the winter.

But until that happens, it’s important to take steps to reduce mosquito populations and reduce your family’s exposure to these insects, which can spread diseases such as West Nile, Zika and others.

Begin by reducing mosquito breeding habitats.

It only takes as few as five days for water in containers as small as a bottle cap to become active breeding sites for mosquitoes.

Routinely empty any containers on your property that are holding water:

  • Pool covers
  • Flower pots
  • Boat covers
  • Tires
  • Pet bowls
  • Toys
  • Tarps
  • Remove debris from gutters.
  • Trim back thick shrubbery and overgrown grass on your property.
  • Fix leaky outdoor faucets.

Protect you and your family from mosquitoes and possible exposure to mosquito-borne illnesses.

  • Repair damaged or broken doors and screens.
  • Wear light-colored clothes with long sleeves and long pants.
  • Close garage doors at night.
  • Wear insect repellent. The Environmental Protection Agency has a web-based tool to help you find the proper insect repellent for your time spent outdoors.

If you have mosquito problems in your area, please visit DHEC’s mosquito information page and click on “Local Mosquito Control” for a list of local mosquito control agency contacts.

DHEC in the News: West Nile, septic tanks, abandoned boats

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

DHEC: West Nile and Mosquitos Still a Problem in SC

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO)–The calendar may say October but the temperatures have felt more like the middle of summer and that’s why State Health and City officials don’t want you to let your guard down when it comes to mosquitos.

DHEC says there has been an increase in the number of mosquitos infected with West Nile this year.

According to DHEC, human cases of West Nile have been confirmed in Anderson, Beaufort, Greenville, Horry, Laurens, Lexington, Richland, Spartanburg, Union, and York counties.

General Interest

Plan underway to eliminate septic tanks, decrease sewage leaks

In a move to stop sewage from leaking into our local waterways, a local town is offering financial assistance for people to get rid of septic tanks.

It’s a picture perfect place to paddle board, but be careful not to ingest the water around Shem Creek.

Tired of seeing Hilton Head’s Broad Creek used as a ‘Dumpster’? 3 residents step up to remove abandoned boats.

After waiting nearly a year, a group of Hilton Head Island residents are taking it upon themselves to clean up boats that were abandoned in the Broad Creek.

After Hurricane Matthew destroyed Palmetto Bay Marina last year, the number of boats moored in the Broad Creek nearly doubled. The legal process to deem the boats abandoned only started a couple weeks ago and will take months to complete.

DHEC in the News: West Nile, Flu, mold complaint involving food

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

Case of West Nile virus confirmed in city of Spartanburg

A case of a person infected with West Nile virus has been confirmed within the Spartanburg city limits, according to the city of Spartanburg.

It hasn’t been determined whether the person contracted the mosquito-borne infection in Spartanburg, according to an announcement sent out by the city Monday afternoon.

Dr. Kenneth Perry joins ‘Good Morning Charleston’ to talk flu prevention

With flu season just underway, DHEC reported flu numbers in Charleston are more extensive than past numbers; 93 cases of influenza in over 22 counties as of October 7.

Today on “Good Morning Charleston,” Dr. Kenneth Perry from Trident Medical Center sat down with Tessa Spencer to talk flu prevention.

DHEC investigating mold complaint involving food at Marlboro County school

Marlboro County, S.C. (WPDE) — The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) said it’s investigating after receiving a complaint about mold found on a banana at Bennettsville Intermediate School (BIS), according to Tommy Crosby, Public Information Officer S.C. Dept. of Health & Environmental Control.

Marlboro County School Board has heard growing concerns from parents and some teachers at BIS since this past Spring.

Rid Your Property Of Standing Water To Combat Mosquitoes

Standing water caused by rain and flooding can be prime breeding grounds for mosquitoes, which can spread harmful diseases such as West Nile, Zika and more.

Be sure to inspect areas around your homes and businesses and take to reduce mosquito populations and lessen the chance of you or others being exposed to these pesky, and potentially harmful, insects.

Below are some steps you can take to rid areas of mosquito breeding grounds.

Eliminate places where mosquitoes breed

One of the most important steps in controlling mosquitoes is to identify all of the places where water can accumulate on your property and eliminate them as possible breeding grounds.

  • Empty and turn over containers that hold water such as cans, jars, drums, bottles, flower pots, buckets, children’s toys, wheel barrows, old appliances, plastic sheeting or tarps used to cover objects like grills or swimming pools, etc.
  • Remove debris from gutters.
  • Clear out weeds, leaves, dirt and other debris from pipes, especially those under a driveway. Make sure water does not stand inside or near the ends of the pipe.
  • Clean out rain gutters and downspouts regularly.
  • Drain or fill any low places, such as potholes, on your property where water collects and stands for more than five to seven days.
  • Make sure that all permanent water containers such as wells, septic tanks, cisterns, water tanks and cesspools are tightly covered and insect-proof.
  • Fix leaky pipes and outdoor faucets.
  • Cover trash containers/garbage cans to keep rainwater from accumulating.
  • Keep boats and canoes drained and covered/overturned.
  • Drain or get rid of old tires by recycling them.
  • Pack tree holes and hollow stumps with sand or cement.

Avoid mosquito bites and possible exposure to mosquito-borne illnesses.

  • Apply EPA-approved insect repellent to protect you during time spent outdoors.
  • Repair damaged or broken doors and screens.
  • Wear light-colored clothes with long sleeves and long pants.
  • Close garage doors at night.

If you have mosquito problems in your area, visit DHEC’s mosquito information page and click on “Local Mosquito Control” in the menu box for a list of local mosquito control agency contacts.

Learn more about eliminating mosquito breeding sites and preventing mosquito bites at the DHEC website.

DHEC urges South Carolinians to protect against mosquito bites in light of confirmed West Nile virus cases

COLUMBIA, S.C. – An Anderson County individual has died from West Nile virus, the first such occurrence in South Carolina this year, and DHEC is urging residents to take precautions.

In 2017, DHEC has confirmed seven human cases of West Nile virus, along with detection in 10 birds and 55 mosquito samples.

The risk of serious illness or death from West Nile Virus is low. Less than one percent of people infected develop a potentially fatal swelling of the brain, known as encephalitis. Most people infected with West Nile virus have no symptoms. About one in five people infected becomes ill within two to 14 days with symptoms including fever, headache, joint pain, muscle pain, and occasionally nausea and vomiting. They may often experience sensitivity to light and inflammation of the eyelids, and some may have a rash.

“If you develop fever or other symptoms after being bitten by a mosquito, you should contact your health care provider,” said Dr. Melissa Overman, SC Assistant State Epidemiologist.

Protect yourself 

DHEC stresses the importance of paying attention to the most effective ways to prevent mosquito-borne illnesses, including West Nile Virus:

  • Repellents help keep mosquitoes from biting. Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR 3535 according to label instructions.
  • Make sure that your doors and windows have tight-fitting screens to keep out mosquitoes.
  • Eliminate all sources of standing water on your property, including flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, birdbaths, old car tires, rain gutters and pet bowls.
  • Wearing light-colored clothing to cover the skin reduces the risk of bites.

Information on West Nile is available