Beaufort County Mosquito Control’s Response to Hurricane Irma Underway
Given the recent arrival of Hurricane Irma, Beaufort County Mosquito Control (BCMC) anticipates an escalating and significant increase in the biting mosquito populations throughout the Lowcountry. The vegetative and woody debris, clogged stormwater drainage systems, and flooding will create surplus mosquito breeding sites in Beaufort County. The identical scenarios occurred after Tropical Storm Hermine and Hurricane Matthew in 2016.
In response, BCMC and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) will continue to conduct surveillance for mosquitoes and mosquito-borne diseases, such as West Nile virus. Further, BCMC will apply various public health insecticides using its spray trucks and aircraft to control immature and adult mosquitoes.
Dead birds can help DHEC and local partners track West Nile virus. Residents can report the finding of dead birds to DHEC. Learn how here. Also, residents and visitors can use a free Beaufort County Mosquito Control app to report dead birds from the Apple iTunes Store here or the Google Store here. DHEC is currently accepting submission of birds through November 30.
For more information about preventing mosquito bites and the spread of West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses, go to www.scdhec.gov/mosquitoes. Learn more about West Nile virus at www.scdhec.gov/westnile.
For additional information, please contact Beaufort County Mosquito Control at 843-255-5800.
Mosquito and West Nile Virus Prevention Tips
Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR 3535 according to label instructions. Repellents help keep mosquitoes from biting.
Wear clothing that reduces the risk of skin exposure. Exposure to mosquitoes associated with West Nile virus is most common during sunrise, sunset, and early evening hours.
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, bird baths, old car tires, rain gutters and pet bowls.
Other Important Information
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms of West Nile virus disease include the following:
No symptoms in most people. Most people (70-80%) who become infected with West Nile virus do not develop any symptoms.
Febrile illness in some people. About 1 in 5 people who are infected will develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Most people with this type of West Nile virus disease recover completely, but fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months.
Severe symptoms in a few people. Less than 1% of people infecteded will develop a serious neurologic illness such as encephalitis or meningitis (inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues). Symptoms of neurologic illness include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, seizures, or paralysis.