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Zika Resources
Latest DHEC Statement about Zika in South Carolina (As of April 10, 2017):

Locally acquired vector-borne cases reported: 0
Travel-associated cases reported: 61
  • Pregnant women: 0
  • Sexually transmitted: 1*
Total cases: 61

South Carolina has had 61 travel-associated cases of Zika virus. Of those, 60 were in travelers who were infected abroad and diagnosed after they returned home. *One case involved a South Carolina resident who had sexual contact with someone who acquired the Zika infection while traveling abroad.

January 6, 2017: Zika Virus Planning and Response Efforts (pdf)
June 7, 2017: Map of Travel-Associated Cases by County (pdf)

(Source: SC DHEC)


Q: What is Zika?
Zika virus disease is caused by the Zika virus, which is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito (Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting up to a week, and many people do not have symptoms or will have only mild symptoms. However, Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly and other severe brain defects. (Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Q: How do people get infected with Zika?
Zika is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus). A pregnant woman can pass Zika to her fetus during pregnancy or around the time of birth. Also, a man with Zika can pass it to sex partners. We encourage people who have traveled to or live in places with Zika to protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites and sexual transmission of Zika. (Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Q: What health problems can result from getting Zika?
Many people infected with Zika will have no symptoms or mild symptoms that last several days to a week. However, Zika infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects. Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS), an uncommon sickness of the nervous system, is also very likely triggered by Zika in a small number of cases.

Once someone has been infected with Zika, it’s very likely they’ll be protected from future infections. There is no evidence that past Zika infection poses an increased risk of birth defects in future pregnancies. (Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Q: How do I protect myself and others?
There is no vaccine to prevent Zika. The best way to prevent diseases spread by mosquitoes is to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites. Here’s how:
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Stay in places with air conditioning and window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
  • Take steps to control mosquitoes inside and outside your home.
  • Treat your clothing and gear with permethrin or buy pre-treated items.
  • Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents. Always follow the product label instructions. » When used as directed, these insect repellents are proven safe and effective even for pregnant and breastfeeding women. » Do not use insect repellents on babies younger than 2 months old. » Do not use products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol on children younger than 3 years old.
  • Mosquito netting can be used to cover babies younger than 2 months old in carriers, strollers, or cribs to protect them from mosquito bites.
  • Sleep under a mosquito bed net if air conditioned or screened rooms are not available or if sleeping outdoors.
  • Prevent sexual transmission of Zika by using condoms or not having sex.
(Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Q: What can I do to help reduce the mosquito population?
Working together, the citizens of Charleston County can help reduce the mosquito population so that residents can continue to enjoy outside activities and minimize the occurrence of mosquito-carried disease. Here’s how:
  • Every three days, flush birdbaths, potted plant saucers and other containers that hold water
  • Keep yard clean and cut
  • Remove items from yard that hold water and are not needed outside
  • Keep lawn and gardening equipment indoors
  • Fix leaky faucets
  • Keep gutters clean
  • Fill in tree holes with sand or concrete
  • Change pet water dishes regularly
  • Chlorinate pools and clean the pool and filters
  • Add fish to ponds
(Source: Charleston County Government)

Q: What is South Carolina doing to protect residents?
South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) works in partnership with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to monitor mosquito populations for diseases that can be spread to humans. The agency also provides information to help individuals and communities take action to reduce mosquito populations in their area and prevent bites. (Source: SC DHEC)

Q: Who manages local mosquito control?
Local mosquito control is managed by Charleston County. Please visit the Charleston County Mosquito Control website for information on aerial spraying, to report mosquito swarms, and obtain other mosquito related information. (Source: Charleston County Government)

Q: What is the City of Charleston doing to protect residents?
Mayor John Tecklenburg has asked Paul Wieters, Wellness Coordinator for the City of Charleston, to serve as the city’s Zika Coordinator. He is working with area agencies, including Charleston County, SC DHEC and area hospitals, to ensure the city is prepared for a potential Zika outbreak. 

Q: What if I work in an environment where I am exposed to mosquitoes?
The US Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released Interim Guidance for Protecting Workers from Occupational Exposure to Zika Virus. (Source: OSHA)

Q: How do I talk to my children about mosquito safety?
 SC Johnson and Sesame Street developed a Zika campaign, "1,2,3 Stay Away Mosquitoes". Visit: for more information and check out the latest PSAs with the Sesame Street characters and a downloadable toolkit with parent tips sheets and children's activities. The content is currently accessible in English, and will be accessible in Spanish soon. 

For more information, email Paul Wieters.

Paul Wieters
Wellness Coordinator

75 Calhoun Street, Suite 3607
Charleston, SC 29401

Ph: 843-720-5098
Fx: 843-724-7358