Tests confirm West Nile Virus found in mosquitoes in parts of Richland County

Published: Jul. 15, 2019 at 11:53 PM EDT
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RICHLAND COUNTY, S.C. (WIS) - Richland County officials have confirmed West Nile Virus activity in mosquitoes in Forest Acres and St. Andrews.

The results were discovered after routine tests were conducted in the county. Richland County Vector Control will be out in the areas spraying for mosquitoes because of these findings.

“We strongly encourage everyone to take personal protective measures even though they may not be within the specific areas we mentioned,” said Tammy Brewer, Manager of Vector Control for Richland County. “Just because those sites have been identified as positive doesn’t mean they are the only sites with West Nile Virus present.”

Officials are urging residents throughout the county to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites and eliminate standing water on their property where insects can breed. Residents are also urged to use repellents, check their property, and empty any containers holding water.

“It can happen anywhere there are mosquitoes,” said Dr. Lachin Hatemi of Veritas Health Group. “You need to avoid mosquitoes and ticks. So you can use chemical repellents, you need to use long sleeve shirts and pants.

Officials also residents should contact Vector Control if a dead bird is found. The bird should be in good condition and not killed another way, such as being hit by a cat or hit by a vehicle.

How to collect a dead bird:

  • Take precaution to avoid touching the bird.
  • Wear protective gloves or use plastic bags over the hands. Do not touch a bird with bare hands.
  • If using plastic bags, double-up the bags and invert them over the bird; pick up the bird and pull the bags over, as if picking up pet waste.
  • To preserve the bird for testing, seal the bird in a clear, zipper top bag and put the bag on ice.
  • Notify Vector Control by calling 929-6000.

For more information on bird testing, visit the bird testing page at the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control website.

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