South Carolina confirms first West Nile death of the year

west nile
west nile(NBC Nebraska)
Published: Sep. 12, 2022 at 6:21 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control confirmed Monday the first death of 2022 from West Nile Virus in the state. The organization said the individual was from the Midlands.

DHEC said 11 cases have been confirmed of the virus, nine of which are in the Midlands. Six of those cases are in Richland County. The virus has also been detected in 5 birds and 38 mosquito samples.

“If you develop fever or other symptoms after being bitten by a mosquito, you should contact your health care provider immediately,” said Dr. Linda Bell, South Carolina state epidemiologist.

The department said less than 1% of infected people develop potentially fatal brain swelling. Most infected individuals have no symptoms. One in five become ill within two to 14 days with symptoms such as fever, headache, joint pain, muscle pain, and occasional nausea or vomiting. These symptoms may also come with sensitivity to light and inflammation of the eyelids or a rash.

DHEC advised the most effective way to avoid mosquito bites include: using repellant, fitting screens on doors and windows, eliminating sources of standing water near your home, and wearing clothing that covers the skin.