Tag Archives: mosquitoes

Ready or Not Mosquitoes Are Coming!

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Being outdoors this summer can be great for exercising, cooking out, sunbathing, or doing some much-needed gardening.  Whatever activity you decide, understand that mosquitoes and other disease-carrying insects are outside with you.

South Carolina is home to at least 61 different species of mosquitoes.  They may carry viruses, such as dengue, zika, West Nile, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, La Crosse encephalitis, and malaria.

DHEC works in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to monitor mosquito populations for diseases that can be spread to humans. Local governments also play a key role in protecting citizens through spraying and cleanup effortsClick here to find a listing of local mosquito control programs.

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The first and most important line of defense is for you to protect yourself and help to prevent mosquito bites.  Make sure to eliminate mosquito breeding areas, and use insect repellent when outside. The mosquitoes are coming, but they don’t have to ruin your summer.

Avoiding Mosquitoes After Rain, Flooding

Rain and flooding of the sort South Carolina has endured recently can saturate areas and leave standing water, which has the potential to become breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes can carry viruses such as West Nile. That is why it is important that we all do our part to reduce mosquito populations and protect our families from exposure to these pesky, and potentially harmful, insects.

Reduce 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
    • Tires
    • Pet bowls
    • Toys
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  • 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.SprayHands-Zika2

If you must be outside when mosquitoes are active, applying a mosquito repellent can help protect you from bites.

Visit the DHEC website for more information about protecting yourself against mosquitoes. You can also visit the site to find contact information for the local mosquito control program in your area.

DHEC in the News: Tracking mosquitoes, opioid crisis, flu

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

Black cups in your neighborhood? How DHEC is tracking mosquitoes in your area

COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) – The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control says fortunately here we are having what they call a normal season. But the department did see its first case of West Nile virus earlier this month in the Pee Dee region.

South Carolina is home to at least 61 different species of mosquitoes, which can carry diseases like West Nile and Eastern Equine Encephalitis.

General Interest

CDC tackles the opioid crisis in the workplace

The Centers for Disease Control, along with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, released a new guide for employers to fight the opioid epidemic.

The move was sparked by workplace overdoses on the rise.

5 Things To Know About Flu Vaccines This Year

Even though we’re in the midst of Labor Day Weekend, health experts say it’s time to start thinking about protecting you and your family from the flu.

  1. When You Should Get Your Shot

The CDC encourages everyone to get their flu vaccine by the end of October.

DHEC in the News: Schools and e-cigarettes, trapping mosquitoes, opioid crisis

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

40 percent of SC school districts don’t have tobacco rules that cover e-cigarettes

As e-cigarettes gain in popularity among teenagers, many South Carolina school districts have not updated policies to discourage their use.

More than 100,000 minors in South Carolina will one day die prematurely from a smoking-related disease, research shows. Eighty-three percent of South Carolinians who smoke started before they turned 18.

Don’t touch that cup! DHEC using special cups to trap mosquitoes

GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) – You may see some unusual looking cups popping up around your neighborhood soon, and South Carolina health officials say you need to just leave them be.

That’s because the cups are being used to trap mosquitoes for a special study conducted by DHEC to track a specific type of mosquito that’s capable of transmitting the Zika virus.

S.C. opioid crisis has not abated

South Carolina recently got bad news on the level of the opioid abuse crisis in the state.

For the third year in a row, the number of opioid-involved overdose deaths has increased in the Palmetto State, according to data collected by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control. From 2014 to 2017, the total number of deaths related to opioid overdose increased by 47 percent, from 508 to 748 deaths.

Protect Yourself Against Mosquito-borne Illnesses Such As West Nile Virus

With DHEC announcing on August 1 that an individual in South Carolina was reported to be sick from West Nile virus — the first such occurrence in the 2018 mosquito season  — it is important to protect yourself and your family against mosquito bites.

Be sure to pay attention to the most effective ways to prevent mosquito-borne illnesses:

  • 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.

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

What are the symptoms of West Nile virus disease?

  • Febrile illness in some people. About 1 in 5 people who are infected will develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Most people with this type of West Nile virus disease recover completely, but fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months.
  • Severe symptoms in a few people. Less than 1% of people who are infected will develop a serious neurologic illness such as encephalitis or meningitis (inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues). The symptoms of neurologic illness can include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, seizures, or paralysis.

For more information about preventing mosquito bites and the spread of West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses, go to www.scdhec.gov/mosquitoes. Learn more about West Nile virus at www.scdhec.gov/westnile.