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Zika Virus Information

The following information was provided by Beaufort County Mosquito Control.

An outbreak of Zika virus, a mosquito-borne pathogen, began in May 2015 in Brazil and subsequently spread rapidly to other countries in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Given our current mobile society, the possibility of Zika virus entering and establishing a presence in the U.S. represents a challenge for the health care and mosquito control industries. There is great concern about the potential effect in pregnant women. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued travel alerts for people traveling to and from countries and territories (in the Americas) with active Zika virus transmission.

Beaufort County Plan of Action

Beaufort County Mosquito Control (BCMC) staff are not experts about Zika virus and cannot speculate on the public health outcome in the U.S., including Beaufort County. Nevertheless, BCMC staff serve as professionals about mosquitoes and effective mosquito control. BCMC is helping to educate the public on how to avoid contact with mosquitoes and how to eliminate mosquito breeding throughout the County.

Suggested Prevention

The mosquito associated with Zika virus is a very aggressive daytime biter and its peak feeding times are typically during early morning and late afternoon. In addition to avoiding peak mosquito biting activity time, BCMC recommends the following prevention:

  • Empty / clean containers that hold water
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and hats
  • Protect windows and doors with screens
  • Use insect repellant for clothing (Always follow label instructions)

Even though 57 different types of mosquitoes are found throughout Beaufort County, only one species (Aedes albopictus or the "Asian tiger" mosquito) may potentially transmit Zika virus in the Lowcountry. Fortunately, this mosquito species occurs sporadically and in low numbers (according to historical and current surveillance records). Even so, BCMC is increasing surveillance for this particular mosquito, as well as initiating or intensifying abatement efforts as necessary.

Additional Resources