West Nile Virus detected in second dead bird, officials warn to stay vigilant

West Nile Virus detected in second dead bird, officials warn to stay vigilant

IRMO, SC (WIS) - The West Nile Virus has been detected in a second dead bird in Richland County and officials want to warn the community to stay vigilant.

"We want to remind the public the disease has not been found in a person, but encourage citizens to take personal precautions," Richland County Vector Control Manager Tammy Brewer said.

The infected bird was located near a home in Irmo, in the northwest section of Richland County.

Just a few weeks back, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) issued an advisory after a dead bird that was infected with the virus was located in downtown Columbia.

Vector Control in Richland County says they are taking proactive steps to combat the spread of the virus.

Mosquito traps have been set in the affected area to trap the flying insects and test them for the virus. On Tuesday night, areas within a one-mile radius of where the bird was found were sprayed for mosquitoes. That will continue on Wednesday. Officials ask residents to remain in their homes if they see the spray truck in their neighborhoods to allow the driver to provide thorough coverage.

Vector Control also continues to monitor the entire county, particularly areas where water collects. The water is treated to kill mosquito larvae and reduce the chance of an outbreak.

In addition to Vector Control's methods, there are also ways for residents to help decrease mosquito activity such as emptying any standing water on their property. Residents can also wear long sleeves and use mosquito repellents.

Residents are also encouraged to report mosquito activity by contacting the Richland County Ombudsman at 803-929-6000.

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