Spray this week will battle the West Nile Virus - South-eastern Laurens County

Sprayers are coming to battle the West Nile Virus (see video below)

People in the South-Eastern area of Laurens County will see these green-and-yellow Gregory Pest Control and Gregory Pest Solutions vehicles either Wednesday night or Thursday night (depending on weather) in Laurens County’s fight against the West Nile Virus.

DHEC has confirmed a Laurens County case (person’s name and address are not made public). Recently, a person who contracted the virus from a mosquito bite died in Greenville County.

Laurens County had a West Nile Virus occurrence in Oct., 2015 and followed the established protocol for reducing the number of mosquitos that have the chance to become infected. The disease is not contagious human-to-human (like a cold) or animal-to-human (like rabies). DHEC Has not recommended to Laurens County that outdoor activities be cancelled as a precaution.

Laurens County Emergency Management also is dealing – along with the rest of South and North Carolina – with the impending landfall of Hurricane Florence. Laurens County is ready to open 2 Red Cross shelters – 1 at the Laurens Y and 1 at First Presbyterian Church, Clinton – if evacuees show up here with no place else to go.

“I would suggest people staying with relatives,” Emergency Management Director Joey Avery said. “I cannot recommend people opening their homes to people they don’t know. Call 911 – we can help them.”

Talking about the West Nile Virus, Avery said, “It’s an isolated case. This is a human case, this is the second human case we have had in the past two years. Most people infected have no symptoms, other than flu-like symptoms. We’re going to spray. We have contracted with Gregory Pest Solutions, they are the same people we contracted with two years ago.”

Gregory’s services are provided by a state contract. Vehicles will spray from the road, in a 1-mile radius of the location that has been identified, but will come up a driveway if there are several houses on the drive.

Spraying will happen between 8 pm and midnight. Avery said they want to spray Wednesday night – but, there is a 50-60% chance of rain. More likely is Thursday night, when there is a 20-25% chance of rain, unless Hurricane Florence stalls over Upstate South Carolina. They will spray again 10 to 14 days later, and there could be a 3rd spraying if needed.

Sprayers will drive a Gregory vehicle, will have a Gregory ID and will have a specially issued Laurens County ID. They will understand if people ask to see both IDs, Avery said.

“We want the citizens of the county and the community to know we are taking this very seriously, and we are trying to eradicate the mosquitos by spraying,” Avery said. “But the weather is not the best right now.”

If people aren’t home, sprayers will leave a hangar and a flyer.

Beekeepers should take precautions against the spraying.

Avery said he had been in contact with the beekeepers association, and they are spreading the word among their members. Laurens County Emergency Management also will issue reverse-calls to people in the area, and any beekeepers who are not members of the association can contact Avery if they want more information, and be on a data base of Laurens County beekeepers for future notices.

Avery said he could not say if young people or old people are most likely to have serious effects from the West Nile Virus. He said SC DHEC has a lot of information about symptoms and at-risk people on its website.

“This is not serious event this is an isolated event, it’s just an isolated mosquito event,” Avery said. “It is not contagious.”

Starting tonight at 8, there will be reverse-notifications to beekeepers and others. There are pre-programmed messages that will go out by phone. Call 864-984-0812 to get in touch with Avery.

DHEC identifies state's first West Nile Virus death of the 2018 season


September 10, 2018

COLUMBIA, S.C. - A Greenville County individual has died from West Nile Virus, the first such occurrence in South Carolina this year.

In 2018, the Department of Health and Environmental Control has confirmed seven human cases of West Nile Virus. Five of the seven confirmed human cases are from the Upstate region. Along with the human cases, there have been the detection of West Nile Virus in five birds and one horse.

The risk of serious illness or death from West Nile Virus is low. Less than one percent of people infected develop a potentially fatal swelling of the brain, known as encephalitis. Most people infected with West Nile virus have no symptoms. About one in five people infected becomes ill within two to 14 days with symptoms including fever, headache, joint pain, muscle pain, and occasionally nausea and vomiting. They may often experience sensitivity to light and inflammation of the eyelids, and some may have a rash.

"If you develop fever or other symptoms after being bitten by a mosquito, you should contact your health care provider," said Dr. Linda Bell, SC State Epidemiologist.

DHEC stresses the importance of paying attention to the most effective ways to prevent mosquito-borne illnesses, including West Nile Virus:

  • Repellents help keep mosquitoes from biting. Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR 3535 according to label instructions.
  • Make sure that your doors and windows have tight-fitting screens to keep out mosquitoes.
  • Eliminate all sources of standing water on your property, including flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, birdbaths, old car tires, rain gutters and pet bowls.
  • Wearing light-colored clothing to cover the skin reduces the risk of bites.

More information on West Nile Virus can be found at www.scdhec.gov/westnile and on YouTube at https://youtu.be/hI69ytA-D1w.


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