Horry County leaders turn focus from Zika to West Nile Virus - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Horry County leaders turn focus from Zika to West Nile Virus

Leaders hope cases are a false alarm but if not, will follow the same Zika response plan. (Source: WMBF News) Leaders hope cases are a false alarm but if not, will follow the same Zika response plan. (Source: WMBF News)

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) -Considering all the recent rain we've had, Horry County leaders are surprised they haven't heard more calls about mosquitoes and Zika concerns.  However, now they're turning their efforts to another mosquito-borne illness: the West Nile virus. 

Just last August there was only one case of Zika, but there have been two cases of West Nile, which is more common.

Leaders say right now, the West Nile virus is a bigger concern than Zika because mosquitoes carry an abundance of it in South Carolina.

Their worry is for older adults because they may have compromised immune systems and can die if they come in contact.

So far, there have been cases in Little River and North Myrtle Beach.

Since then, officials sent mosquitoes to DHEC for testing. The problem is it takes up to three weeks to get answers back because South Carolina doesn't have a laboratory.

The closest is in Georgia, but the hope is when the results come back, it's a false alarm.

"Usually we would see an uptick of those mosquito complaint call,s, but we really haven't seen that within the last couple of weeks. But if the temperatures remain high, I bet those numbers could tick up in the next two weeks," Horry County Spokesperson Lisa Bourcier said.

 As of now, county leaders are they're crossing their fingers Horry County does not have a problem with either cases.

If it happens, officials will stick to the same response plan: you'll make the phone call, and they'll come out and blanket the area and do aggressive spraying.

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