Human Infection of West Nile Virus in Laurens County

At a press conference held Tuesday afternoon, Laurens County’s Director of Emergency Management Joey Avery revealed that a case of human infection of West Nile Virus has been discovered in southeastern Laurens County.

The county has already begun its response to the case.  A one mile radius surrounding the infected individual’s residence will be treated to kill mosquitoes.  That operation will begin tonight or tomorrow night depending upon weather conditions and will be performed by Gregory Pest Control of Greenville.

According to the website of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, this is a required step in fighting the spread of the disease.  West Nile Virus is not a contagious disease.  You cannot contract the disease by coming into contact with an infected person.  It is ONLY transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito.

According to DHEC, persons who are infected might experience mild flu-like symptoms beginning from 2 to 14 days after the bite.  Some who are infected never experience any noticeable symptoms at all.  Less than 1% of victims develop encephalitis (swelling of the brain).

DHEC advises that if you develop the following symptoms you should seek immediate medical assistance:

  • Severe or unusual headaches
  • If you believe you have been in an area where the virus has been identified and experience high fever, muscle weakness or confusion.

There is no cure for West Nile Virus but successful treatment of the symptoms, should there be symptoms, is the likely outcome of infection.

If you see activity involving the lime green vehicles of Gregory Pest Control after dark this evening or tomorrow evening, now you know why they’re there.  If you are concerned about their presence please know that each employee will be carrying a company ID badge as well as a temporary Laurens County ID badge.

Gregory Pest Control is the same contractor which responded and treated a section of western Laurens County last year when the virus was discovered to have infected an individual there.  See story:

Mr. Avery advised that with the discovery of the virus in Laurens County it would be a good idea to use insect repellent on any exposed skin when you anticipate being outdoors for any extended period of time.

A second treatment of the same area will be required 10-14 days after the initial treatment.  Stay tuned to WLBG for further developments.