The county has ramped up efforts to diminish the mosquito population in response to a West Nile death in Virginia and nine cases reported nationwide.
Tuesday, Dorchester County sprayed the Archdale community for mosquitos, which can carry the virus from birds to humans and . Wednesday, the county moves to erradicate the possible West-Nile carriers from Ashborough East and Westcott Plantation.
Thursday, the solution, which the county says is safe for children and pets, will be sprayed at Irongate and Walnut Farms. Friday, spraying will continue in Teal on the Ashley and The Ponds.
West Nile Virus can only be spread through blood contact, not casual contact or saliva. Once bitten by an infected mosquito, it takes between two to 14 days for flu-like symptoms to appear that can include muscle weakness, stiff neck, confusion, fever, headache, joint pain and occasionally nausea and vomiting. Some instances have included rash-like symptoms. If these symptoms occur, it is advised that citizens seek medical attention immediately.
The majority of those infected with West Nile Virus are able to recover, though it still has the potential to be fatal — like the case in Virginia. In other extreme cases it can lead to brain swelling, which may also cause permanent brain or muscle damage. There is no distinct cure for West Nile Virus infections. Symptoms in mild cases will run their course from a few days up to a few weeks.
According to a press release Monday from the South Carolina Department of Healthand Environmental Control (SCDHEC), citizens throughout the state are urged to take preventative measures to protect against West Nile Virus as a result of the season’s first identified fatality. As recommended by DHEC, Dorchester County urges citizens to pay close attention to the following “four D’s” to help reduce the risk ofexposure to the virus:
DEET – Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR 3535 according to label instructions. Repellents help keep mosquitoes from biting. DEET can be used safelyon infants and children 2 months of age and older.
DRESS – Wear clothing that reduces the risk of skin exposure.
DAWN AND DUSK – Exposure to mosquitoes is most common during the early morning and evening so it is important to wear repellent at that time. Make sure that your doors and windows have tight-fitting screens to keep out mosquitoes.
DRAIN – Mosquitoes lay their eggs on standing water. Eliminate all sources of standing water on your property, including flowerpots, old car tires, rain gutters and pet bowls. If you have a pond, use mosquito fish (available from your local mosquito and vector control agency) or commercially available products to eliminate mosquito larvae.
The county first announced , saying this is in addition to its regular mosquito control.
Application will occur nightly during the hours of 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. that will be administered with truck-mounted equipment to treat spaces in and around these residential areas.
Dorchester County will also apply larvacide briquets to ditches and roadways throughout the county to reduce mosquito populations that accumulate in areas of standing water. For mosquito control, the briquets are placed 100 feet apart to manage the infested area for a period of 150 days. Dorchester County will continue to use these and other measures while the problem continues to persist.
All chemicals used by Dorchester County are designed to provide quick, effective control of adult mosquito populations. The application materials are safe for people, pets, and the environment, according to the county.
Updates on the treatment areas will be provided on a weekly or as-needed basis.
For more information or to report severely populated areas, contact 843-832-0070 with the address location of the area(s) inquestion.