East Carolina researchers look at effectiveness of repellents on mosquitos, virus transmission

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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) – Researchers at East Carolina University are now looking at different species of mosquitoes and testing how effective repellents really are when it comes to killing the insects.

“It’s flu-like symptoms. Fever, headache, so it can be nonspecific,” said Dr. Stephanie Richards, professor at ECU.

She’s been leading research over the past few summers to look into the different types of virus transmission in the Eastern Carolinas.

“We in North Carolina do have imported zika cases, that’s when people travel somewhere where zika is being transmitted. In North Carolina, we have West Nile Virus that’s locally transmitted. We also have eastern equine encephalitis virus that’s locally transmitted. Especially in the eastern part of the state.”

West Nile Virus happens when infected bird populations transmit the virus to mosquitos.
then it moves to humans. In South Carolina, DHEC asks for help tracking West Nile Virus by submitting dead birds for testing.

Doctor Richards said through the studies. They found some insecticides may not be effective.

“They are generally highly resistant to most of the active ingredients that we are testing so that mosquito is having an issue,” said Richards.

South Carolina DHEC recommends wearing repellent containing deet, oil of lemon, eucalyptus or IR3535. Repellents help keep mosquitos from biting. Another thing to do is wear clothing that covers your skin.
Also, get rid of sources of standing water including flowerpots, old tires and pet bowls.

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