Louis-Encephalatis virus found in Gem County mosquitoes

The Vernon County Health Department reports that a horse in Vernon County on 8/17/2017 tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). Director Nirav Shah said although weather is getting cooler, West Nile is still a concern.

In addition to spraying the area, residents are urged to "eliminate areas of standing water, use insect repellant, keep skin covered, and keep windows and doors closed". In rare cases encephalitis, meningitis, and death are possible.

IDPH reported four out five human cases don't involve any symptoms. West Nile first showed up in the U.S.in 1999 and came to IL in 2001.

South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control officials recommend increased education and control measures following the confirmed case. Such symptoms include, but are not limited to: fever, headache, body ache, fatigue, nausea, and rash.

The virus is transmitted through a mosquito bite. People older than 50 and those with weakened immune systems are at higher risk.

Minimize being outdoors when mosquitoes transmitting West Nile virus are most active, especially between dusk and dawn. Consult a physician before using repellents on infants.

Vanessa Coleman