A case of the Zika virus was confirmed in Horry County earlier this week at Plantation Point.
The Zika virus is typically spread through the bite of some Aedes mosquitoes. However, the virus can be transmitted from a preganant mother to her baby, as well as through sexual contact and blood transfusions.
The virus was not locally generated, but it was contracted in another state, according to Brad Dean, president and CEO of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce.
Lisa Bourcier, spokeswoman for Horry County, said the county found out about the case earlier this week. She said the county has been working on a Zika response plan for about four months.
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“When there’s a travel-related case in the county, we have certain procedures that we follow,” Bourcier said.
The county went door-to-door in Plantation Point, which is west of U.S. 17 and south of 38th Avenue North. County officials spoke with property owners in the area, eliminated any standing water, and used hand-held foggers to try to eliminate any mosquitoes in the area.
“There is no concern at this time as long as precautions are taken,” said Robery Yanity of the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).
Natural precautions include the use of isect repellents, wearing long-sleeves and pants, empty items that can hold water at least once a week, and ensuring that screens are placed over windows, according the the DHEC website.
Currently there are 43 travel-related Zika cases in South Carolina.
On Friday, state health officials, for the first time, released a map of reported Zika cases in the state.
The map does not reflect the case reported in Horry County because the patient is a resident of another state who traveled to Horry County, DHEC spokeswoman Cassandra Haris said.
The heaviest concentrations of confirmed travel-related Zika infections have occurred in the major metropolitan areas of the state.
Charleston County has reported 8 cases, Lexington and Greenville counties have reported 7 cases each and Richland County has reported 6 cases.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control said on Friday that that of the 43 confirmed cases in South Carolina, all were acquired outside of South Carolina.
“Today we learned that the first confirmed case of the Zika virus has come to our area,” said Dean. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the household impacted as we wish them a quick and easy recovery.”
Both state and local government entities worked quickly to contain the case to “minimize the impact of Zika,” according to Dean.