State health officials say an increase this year in deaths from the West Nile Virus has them prompting citizens to protect themselves from the mosquito-borne illness.
DHEC spokesman Jim Beasley tells WRHI that just because were seeing very chilly mornings, the virus is still a threat.
And the West Nile Virus is raising eyebrows in Columbia.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, West Nile virus cases have been reported in people from 48 states, with over 4,800 cases, including 223 deaths so far in 2012, compared to 712 human cases, including 43 deaths in 2011.
“So far this year, the illness has been detected in 30 people in South Carolina and three have died from the infection, compared to less than 5 cases per year over the last 5 years,” said Dr. Linda Bell, M.D. and interim state epidemiologist.
“Our warm autumn weather brings many people outdoors during this time of year to garden, attend sporting events and fall festivals, and enjoy other activities. It’s very important to continue protecting yourself and your family during these days of warm fall weather to avoid mosquito-borne disease.”
Dr. Bell advises that a good way to avoid mosquito bites is by following the 4 Ds: