West Nile virus has arrived in York County.
York County Emergency Management announced Tuesday that the mosquito surveillance program from the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control had produced a positive result for the virus in York County.
But don’t panic.
“This is not an uncommon occurrence,” according to an emergency management release. “York County typically experiences positive cases of West Nile in the mosquito population during mosquito season.”
In fact, West Nile has been identified in 46 different states in recent years. No cases of infection have been found in a human or animal in York County, only in the local mosquito population.
If bitten by a West Nile-carrying mosquito, an infected person will experience symptoms similar to the flu, although in healthy adults the effects are so mild that between 70 and 80 percent of those infected with West Nile never know they have the virus.
Those most susceptible to serious effects are young people, the elderly and those with depressed immune systems.
York County recommends residents protect themselves by:
▪ Eliminating mosquito breeding grounds by emptying containers of standing water and draining or filling any standing water sites nearby.
▪ Keeping mosquitoes outside by using air conditioning and repairing window and door screens.
▪ Avoiding mosquitoes during the times they like to bite – dawn, dusk and nighttime. Mosquitoes can also bite during the day in wooded or shaded areas. Wear long sleeves and pants if you may be outdoors at those times or in those areas.
▪ Wearing insect repellent.
DHEC continues to monitor the mosquito population in York County and will be providing updates to local authorities. For more information, go to bit.ly/1WbCvy9.