MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – After the Department of Health and Environmental Control reported someone in Myrtle Beach contracted the West Nile Virus, the City of Myrtle Beach says it is working with DHEC to ensure the problem is handled quickly.
Myrtle Beach Spokesperson Mark Kruea says city staff breaks up the city into five sections and sprays for mosquitoes a section a day to cover the entire city each week.
“The regular spraying occurs in the afternoons and evenings when mosquitoes are most likely to be out,” explains Kruea. “So, the crew starts about 4:30 and runs until about 9:30 or 10.”
The city has one sprayer and it runs from the north end of the city to the south end, April through September.
Officials with DHEC say the person who contracted West Nile Virus was in the area between 3rd Ave. South and Mr. Joe White Avenue. Kruea says the city will spray that particular area multiple times a week and work with DHEC to see how big of a problem they’re facing.
“DHEC has staff here in town right now that will set some mosquito traps so that we can sample some of the mosquitos and find out whether this is a wide-spread problem – which hopefully it’s not – or a very narrow problem,” says Kruea.
Kruea says on top of the traps, they’re also using briquettes in the stormwater drains to kill larva, but city officials are asking for help from the community.
“Take a look around your own property,” advises Kruea. “Whether it’s a business, or a home, or an apartment and see if there are any standing sources of water, whether it’s a bird bath or a planter at the base of a plant, or something like that.”
Tommy Crosby with DHEC says they can’t give an update on the condition of the person who contracted the virus.
“Due to state and federal privacy restrictions, DHEC is unable to provide additional information concerning any individual, including details about physical condition, hospitalization, age, sex, and residence, said Crosby.
Crosby says right now, they don’t have a timeframe for the trapping and testing of mosquitoes in the Myrtle Beach area, but Kruea says the city is prepared to act aggressively if necessary to rid the community of any further risk for the virus.