MYRTLE BEACH , SC (WMBF) - The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control will be in Myrtle Beach Monday to set mosquito collection traps, after a confirmed case of West Nile virus in the city. A DHEC employee confirms the infected person spent the past two weeks between 3rd Ave South and Mr. Joe White Avenue. They note the virus can only spread from mosquitoes and birds.
"Usually mosquitoes are feeding off of a dead bird. Birds can harbor the virus and when a bird dies and a mosquito is feeding off of a dead bird, the mosquito gets it and then will bite humans," said Dennis Rhoades with Doctors Care.
Dr. Rhodes explained that 80% of the people who get West Nile don't even get sick. The 20% who do show symptoms notice common virus signs like sore muscles or a fever.
"There's only 1% of people who are infected that will get the encephalopathy, that's when the brain swells. Those are the people that need to seek care," said Rhoades.
The doctor said the 1% who receive brain swelling are usually those with weaker immune systems.
"Usually the elderly, those who have immune compromise states like they're diabetic, kidney disease, things like that," said Rhoades.
Mayor John Rhodes said the city is now increasing mosquito spraying from 3rd Ave South and Mr. Joe White and throughout the city.
There are things you can do to reduce the risk of catching the virus.
"Get rid of standing water, make sure you're wearing insect repellent, wear long sleeves out especially between dawn and dusk hours when mosquitos are more active," said Rhodes.