Recent wet weather has provided ample breeding ground for West Nile-carrying mosquitoes, and while there have been no local cases of the illness so far this year, a state agency reports bugs carrying the disease have been found in Beaufort County.
The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control updated a report Saturday indicating a "mosquito pool" tested positive for West Nile in July in the county.
Seventeen cases of West Nile disease in people have been reported in 11 other counties throughout the state. The highest occurrence was in Aiken County, which had five cases. The disease also found there in birds and mammals.
Reported West Nile cases have risen by 40 percent nationwide, according to reports from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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To prevent the spread of West Nile via mosquitoes, the Beaufort County Mosquito Control Department will conduct aerial spraying during daylight hours today through Friday, according the Beaufort County website.
The department advises property owners to "fight the bite" and get rid of mosquitoes by:
Symptoms of West Nile typically take about two weeks to develop and include fever, headache and body aches, according to the CDC. Less than 1 percent of cases result in neurological symptoms such as stiff necks or coma and paralysis. Many people carrying the virus never get sick at all.