Tag Archives: South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental 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.

NEVER leave a child in a parked car

Some things should never, ever happen. Leaving a child in a parked car, even if the windows are open, is one of those things.

And don’t leave pets in that dangerous situation either.

Despite the many warnings and, tragically, the child deaths reported due to being left in a hot car, there are still those who take the chance. Again, don’t.

Here’s what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says about infants and children and heat:

Keep children cool and hydrated

  • Dress infants and children in loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Make sure they drink plenty of fluids. Avoid really cold drinks or drinks with too much sugar.
  • Follow additional tips on how to prevent heat-related illness.

Never leave children in a parked car

  • Even when it feels cool outside, cars can heat up to dangerous temperatures very quickly.
  • Leaving a window open is not enough: Temperatures inside the car can rise almost 20 degrees Fahrenheit within the first 10 minutes.
  • Children who are left unattended in parked cars are at greatest risk for heat stroke, and possibly death.

Tips for traveling with children

  • Never leave infants or children in a parked car, even if the windows are cracked open.
  • When leaving your car, check to be sure everyone is out of the car. Do not overlook any children who have fallen asleep in the car.

Visit the CDC’s website for information on symptoms of heat-related illness.

DHEC in the News: Mount Pleasant Water, Prescription Fraud, Rising Seas

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

A cancer cluster caused by pesticides in South Carolina would be hard to prove. Here’s why.

Cancer clusters are rare and difficult to prove, and pesticides are unlikely to be the cause of several recent cases of brain tumors in Mount Pleasant, a national water quality expert said.

Erik Olson, director of the National Resources Defense Council’s health program, said the system Mount Pleasant Waterworks uses — reverse osmosis — is an excellent technology that will “remove basically anything, including pesticides.”

“If they’ve had reverse osmosis for a long time, that would suggest it’s probably not pesticides,” Olson said.

Mount Pleasant has used the technology since 1991.

Warrants: Former Wellford police chief charged in prescription fraud

WELLFORD, SC (FOX Carolina) – The former police chief of Wellford is facing 10 charges connected to the filling of unauthorized prescriptions.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control confirmed 48-year-old Timothy Alexander was arrested on five counts of MDP other in Schedule I, II or III controlled substance and five counts of violation of drug distribution laws.

According to the arrest warrants, Alexander is accused of conspiring with a woman to obtain unauthorized Percocet prescriptions from pharmacies in Woodruff and Spartanburg.

General Interest

New study pinpoints sea rise hot spots, with Edisto and Kiawah islands caught in the crosshairs

In just 18 years — less than the life of some mortgages — rising seas will cause disruptive flooding in about 170 coastal communities across the United States, including Edisto and Kiawah islands, a new analysis says.

Prepared by the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit science advocacy group, the report is said to be the first nationwide attempt to identify tipping points — times and places where flooding is so frequent that residents abandon their land or pump big bucks into projects to hold back the ocean.

No stranger to high water, Charleston already sees regular “nuisance floods” at seasonal high tides, though the problem has grown worse in recent years. Charleston averaged four days of tidal flooding 50 years ago. Last year, the city had a record 50 flooding days, many when the sun shined.

Even so, the city has yet to reach a “chronic inundation” threshold — when 10 percent or more of its usable, non-wetland area floods at least 26 times per year, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists report.

That will change within a couple of generations.

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.

It’s Hot: Take steps to help stay cool

Over the next day or two, the National Weather Service is forecasting temperatures in the mid- to upper-90s in some parts of South Carolina, with the heat index reaching above 100 degrees.

The heat index indicates how hot it actually feels to the body when relative humidity is combined with the air temperature. The heat index increases as the air temperature and relative humidity increase. Humid conditions make the body feel warmer.

When the body gets too hot, it uses sweat to cool off.  If that sweat is not able to evaporate, the body cannot regulate its temperature and struggles to cool itself.  When sweat evaporates, it reduces the body’s temperature

As you move about during these and other hot days to come, DHEC urges you to follow the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s three tips for preventing heat-related illnesses: Stay cool. Stay hydrated. Stay informed.

Stay cool:

  • Wear appropriate, lightweight clothing
  • Stay in an air-conditioned place as much as possible
  • Schedule outdoor activities carefully
  • Pace yourself; cut down on exercising when it is hot
  • Wear sunscreen

DO NOT LEAVE CHILDREN OR PETS IN CARS, EVEN IF THE WINDOW IS CRACKED!

Stay Hydrated

  • Drink plenty of fluids (Avoid very sugary or alcoholic drinks)
  • Replace salt and minerals lost due to sweating
  • Keep your pets hydrated

Stay Informed

  • Check for weather updates via local news
  • Know the signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses
  • Monitor those at high risk:
  • Infants and young children
  • People 65 years of age or older
  • People who are overweight
  • People who overexert during work or exercise
  • People who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure, or who take certain medications, such as for depression or poor circulation
  • Visit and closely watch adults at risk at least twice a day

Visit the CDC website for more information on extreme heat.