Officials to spray in Rock Hill neighborhood after West Nile scare

ROCK HILL, S.C. — Neighbors in the Oakdale community of Rock Hill said they are nervous about spraying on their property.

The Department of Health and Environmental Control alerted officials that there is a confirmed case of West Nile virus in the city.

The confirmed case was found in the southern Rock Hill/York County area.

Now, residents are concerned about the West Nile virus, as well as the spray itself, though officials said it's not harmful to humans or pets.

A pest control truck will drive through the neighborhood of the Rock Hill residents on Wednesday spraying for mosquitoes.

“It's quite a concern,” John Godbout said.

Health officials made the decision after learning of a confirmed West Nile case in Rock Hill, and after traps caught some mosquitoes in the Oakdale neighborhood that tested positive for the virus.

"The medical case, combined with the case found in the mosquito population, is why we're here,” an official said.

It's that combination that raises concern.

“Well, I got two concerns personally,” Ed Green said. “One is the mosquitoes and the virus itself, and then also, what the heck they're going to be spraying it with."

Health officials said the Department of Health and Environmental Control recently notified them about the human case. Now, they are working to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to keep the virus from spreading.

Technicians will spray what's called the Aqua-Reslin solution within a 1-mile radius around Oakdale fire station 1 from 8 p.m. Wednesday night to 1 a.m. Thursday.

They are also asking neighbors to cut down on any standing water.

“Well, we just have to be careful and empty out any containers that have water in them,” Godbout said.

Jarrett Dellinger, with Dixie Exterminating, said mosquito season started early and is expected to go long this year, so this West Nile case, and the warning from officials are not to be taken lightly.

“Yes, it's been very bad for mosquitoes, like I said, having a mild winter, a lot of rain,” Dellinger said. “It's a very serious thing. People can become ill, sick, just like any disease out there, but it also can be prevented with treatments and everything."

While the spray isn't harmful to humans of pets, it's not recommended to be directly in the path of the spray.

If anyone has concerns about crops or plants, they should cover them.

“I encourage everyone to make sure you monitor your own yards to make sure there's no standing water in those areas so that you can eliminate the breeding grounds for that,” Rock Hill City Manager Jimmy Bagley said.

Officials said they plan to spray around three local schools South Pointe High School, Saluda Trail Middle School and Oakdale Elementary.

People with pre-existing medical issues, such as cancer and diabetes, are at a higher risk for serious symptoms if they contract the virus.

Charlotte city officials said they're not overly concerned that the virus will move across the state line. They said they're monitoring the situation in Rock Hill and don't have any plans to spray for mosquitoes.

West Nile virus is a disease transmitted to humans and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected after feeding on infected birds.

[LINK: Facts about West Nile virus]

About one in five people infected with the virus become sick within two to 14 days, with symptoms including fever, headache, joint pain, muscle pain and occasionally nausea and vomiting.

Recovery can take weeks or months and there is no vaccine.

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