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West Nile Virus confirmed in Columbia, city to begin mosquito spraying

Here’s how West Nile is spread — and what symptoms to look for after a mosquito bite

West Nile Virus can be deadly — but only one in five people who are infected by a mosquito bite will develop any symptoms, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. Here's what to look for.
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West Nile Virus can be deadly — but only one in five people who are infected by a mosquito bite will develop any symptoms, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. Here's what to look for.

The city of Columbia reported Wednesday that there has been a confirmed case of West Nile virus within the city.

A dead bird that was discovered tested positive for the disease, according to a news release from city officials.

Beginning on Friday, the city will be sprayed, targeting adult mosquitoes, the news release reported.

The spraying “will continue as needed,” per city officials, who said the process will primarily occur between midnight and dawn. It is possible the spraying will start earlier based on conditions.

People infected with West Nile virus can develop a fever and symptoms such as “headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which reported how to diagnose and treat the occasionally fatal disease.

In addition to the alert about the confirmed West Nile virus case, city officials have issued warnings about the spraying.

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Map of area in Columbia that has been targeted for spraying. City of Columbia

Columbia residents allergic to permethrin or tau-fluvalinate are asked to call 803-545-4229 to alert city officials.

Additionally, beekeepers within the city limits have been told to call that number to make Columbia officials aware of their hives.

There have been recent reports of West Nile virus cases across South Carolina.

Boiling Springs was sprayed Monday after Spartanburg County Emergency Management reported a dead bird was carrying the disease, according to foxcarolina.com.

Spraying also has occurred in Greenwood after the virus was confirmed there last week, the Index Journal reported.

West Nile also was found in a bird in Anderson County, per WYFF-4.

City officials have also released this list of “preventive measures” to limit the chances of encountering mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus:

  • “Use, according to the label instructions, EPA registered insect repellents that contain DEET, Picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
  • Clear drainage ditches of debris and weeds.
  • Pack tree holes with sand.
  • Clean clogged roof gutters.
  • Keep boats overturned, drained or covered (covers should not collect water).
  • Stock ornamental ponds and water gardens with top-feeding minnows.
  • Properly maintain swimming pools.
  • Change the water in pet dishes, birdbaths and containers used to root plants at least once a week.
  • Make sure there are screens on rain barrels and use the water as soon as possible.”
City of Columbia
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