West Nile Virus continues to spread

By: By Kasie Strickland - kstrickland@championcarolinas.com

UPSTATE — Following the first confirmed case of West Nile Virus in a human in Pickens County recently, the disease continues to plague the Upstate as four new cases of West Nile Virus have been confirmed this week in birds found in Anderson County.

According to DHEC, the birds were located near the intersections of North Avenue and Main Street and Camson Rd. and Hembree Rd. in Anderson; Porter Road and Central Road and Cherry Street Extension and Woodhaven Drive in Pendleton.

The news came less than two weeks after a Greenville County resident died from the virus — the first West Nile Virus death in S.C. this year, officials said.

The Emergency Management Division in partnership and coordination with the City of Anderson, Pickens County Emergency Management and Gregory Pest Solutions, the County’s pest control contractor, will be spraying affected areas within a one-mile radius of the locations where the dead birds were found, officials said.

Weather permitting, spraying will take place on Saturday night, Sept. 22, and Sunday, Sept. 23, and will include the placement of larvicide briquettes in standing water on public lands.

“At this time, there remain no confirmed human cases of the disease in Anderson County; however, the Emergency Management Division is taking appropriate mitigation and abatement actions in the affected areas,” a spokesperson said.

The water-based pesticide used during spraying does not pose a health risk to humans or animals; however, beekeepers with hives in the area should arrange to relocate hives until spraying has been completed, they stated. All local beekeeping organizations are being notified.

The larvicide briquettes placed in areas of standing water to reduce the mosquito threat should not be handled or disturbed by the public and will remain effective up to 45 days after placement.

A “CodeRed” message will be sent out to residents within a one-mile radius of where the infected birds were located alerting them to plans for spraying and directing them to the Emergency Management Division website for more information. In addition, the agency will use its social media accounts as well as other county media resources to provide information about West Nile Virus and mosquito-borne illnesses.

Spraying is expected to take place late both Saturday and Sunday nights and should conclude by early Monday morning.

Residents are reminded that the most effective ways to prevent mosquito-borne illnesses, including West Nile Virus is to use 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 and wear light-colored clothing to cover the skin reduce the risk of bites.

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By Kasie Strickland

kstrickland@championcarolinas.com

Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.

Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.