News 12 at 11 o'clock / Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012
AIKEN, S.C. -- The West Nile virus is now south. Half a dozen people in our area have it and more rain on the way could make for bad news.
Aiken mosquito control officials say they have been swamped with calls from concerned families.
"I can understand people are panicked, you start talking any type of virus, any anything, it's scary," said Sarah Herring.
News 12 went along as they responded to your complaints in Aiken.
"Anything that can hold water is going to breed mosquitoes," Herring said.
At a home off Laurens Street, crews found the source and mosquitoes find dinner, again, again and again.
We also find recycle bins filled with dirty water. They say clogged gutters, water that's been siting in flower pots, buckets and barrels are all breeding sites for these pests.
"People need to be mindful that a lot of this is in their control," Herring said.
It may be more vital than ever to take control after several confirmed reports of West Nile near our own backyards.
There have been four in Aiken, 1 Richmond County, 1 in Columbia County.
Doctors want to remind you, "rarely do people that are infected by the West Nile virus get sick," said Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Gerald Gordon.
One out of 150 could see severe symptoms, which could lead to death.
Back at the lab, the mosquitoes will now be analyzed. Then, they will be shipped off to DHEC who will then let us know if any of them could cause any more cases of West Nile virus. The process could take three to four weeks.
"So could we see more cases?" asked News 12's Sheli Muniz.
"Oh yeah, unfortunately yes," Herring said.