Think the cool weather this week means mosquitoes are done?
Better think again, state officials say.
“Until we have an extended period of cooler weather, mosquitoes are going to be active well into the fall, so you still need to protect yourself and your home from mosquitoes,” Chris Evans, entomologist with the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, said in a news release.
Human cases of the mosquito-borne West Nile virus have been confirmed in Beaufort County, along with Anderson, Greenville, Horry, Laurens, Lexington, Richland, Spartanburg, Union and York counties. Infected animal or mosquito samples also have been confirmed in Beaufort County, along with Anderson, Cherokee, Colleton, Greenville, Kershaw, Lexington, Richland, Saluda, Union and York counties.
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“West Nile virus infection has been detected in 17 people in South Carolina to date (in 2017), compared to an average of 10 cases per year over the last five years. One person has died from the infection,” state epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell said in the news release.
She said the nice weather this time of year draws many people outdoors to garden or attend sporting events and fall festivals, so it’s important to take steps to prevent mosquito-borne disease.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, West Nile virus cases have been reported in people from 46 states, with approximately 1,295 cases, including 67 deaths so far in 2017, compared to 2,038 human cases and 94 deaths in 2016. The CDC updates these numbers weekly.
For more information on West Nile virus, visit www.scdhec.gov/westnile.
To learn more about preventing mosquito bites and the spread of mosquito-borne illnesses, go to www.scdhec.gov/mosquitoes.
Lisa Wilson: 843-706-8103