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WNV found on base, 20th FW responds

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- During routine testing on Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, members of the 20th Medical Group, confirmed a mosquito tested positive for West Nile Virus near the Chapel Pond area between the dorms and the chapel.

“Positive result does not indicate an increased risk of disease, but is a good reminder for all to practice mosquito avoidance and control techniques," said Lt. Col. Rob Grover, 20th Civil Engineer Squadron commander. "We regularly monitor and take actions to control the mosquito population throughout the installation, as do the surrounding communities. However, these techniques will not eradicate all mosquitos in the Midlands, and it's important to take actions to limit mosquito exposure for yourself and your families."

Military officials are doing everything they can to ensure the safety of local residents.

“In order to prevent the spread of mosquito borne diseases, pest management technicians apply larvicide throughout Shaw to bodies of standing water to interrupt the mosquito breeding cycle, and target mosquitos in their larval state to prevent them from becoming biting adults,” said Staff Sgt. Colin Hundt, 20th CES pest management specialist. “Larvicide is applied monthly, and can last for up to 150 days. Larviciding and eliminating mosquito breeding areas are the most effective actions in managing the mosquito population.”

According to the Center for Disease Control there are precautionary measures that can be taken to prevent mosquito bites:

Avoid Mosquito Bites
* Use insect repellents when you go outdoors. Repellents containing
DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane- diol products provide longer-lasting protection.
* When weather permits, wear long sleeves, long pants, and socks when
outdoors. Spraying clothes with repellent containing permethrin or another EPA-registered repellent will give extra protection. Don't apply repellents containing permethrin directly to skin.
* Take extra care during peak mosquito biting hours and wear
protective clothing from dusk to dawn or consider avoiding outdoor activities during these times.

Mosquito-Proof Your Home
* Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes
outside. Use your air conditioning, if you have it.
* Help reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home by emptying
standing water.

After further investigation no Zika virus has been detected at or near Shaw AFB.

For questions of concerns contact 20th CES Customer Service at (803)-895-9652.