West Nile Virus Kills Midlands SC Resident



(CTN News) _ West Nile virus, transmitted by mosquitoes, has killed a Midlands resident, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control announced Monday.
 Days earlier, the agency announced there was a West Nile outbreak in Richland County.
In a statement Friday,
DHEC urged Richland County and Midlands residents to take preventative measures against mosquitoes, including repellents.
According to state epidemiologist Linda Bell, most people who contract West Nile do not experience symptoms.
Despite the fact that less than one percent of people infected with encephalitis suffer from it,
Residents of Richland County should take this alert seriously and take the precautions advised because of the risk of serious illness such as encephalitis, a potentially fatal inflammation of the brain.
Residents who experience fever or other symptoms after being bitten by a mosquito should contact their health care provider immediately.
 In the Midlands this year, 11 cases of the virus have been reported.
Richland County has had six cases. Around the same time and area, birds and mosquitoes were confirmed to carry the virus.
The state agency also found the virus in five birds and 38 mosquitoes.
DHEC can’t confirm the identity of the deceased, citing privacy concerns.
James Harrison died Friday, three weeks after contracting West Nile, according to his obituary in The State.
 Harrison’s rep couldn’t be reached Monday.

In late July,

Columbia announced it was spraying insecticide for adult mosquitoes after finding a dead bird positive for the virus.
 A mosquito repellent can prevent resident bites, says DHEC. Residents are also asked to remove pool covers, pet bowls, and rain gutters as part of the program.
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