DHEC confirms case of Triple E Virus in Conway area

CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – Neighborhoods in the Conway area were warned of a confirmed case of the Triple E Virus Wednesday, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

The Triple E Virus, or Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV), is “transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito,” reports the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Officials with DHEC confirm the case in Horry County and many neighbors just off of Highway 90 near Old Altman Road came home from work Wednesday to a note on their door warning them they could be at risk for the virus.

Horry County Mosquito Control explains it is doing everything possible to keep people and horses safe from the illness. Aerial spraying for mosquitoes will begin Thursday night following the EEEV case. Although the county is taking action, community members say they’re still worried about contracting the virus.

“It’s kind of scary because you don’t know how many other people or horses have been bit,” says Lisa Young who received the EEEV note on her door.

The CDC says EEEV is actually a rare illness with only a few cases being recorded in humans each year in the United States. The virus originates in horses and can spread to humans.

Young says she’s worried for her family and her 34-year-old horse, Cool Rider.

“I would hate to lose our old boy,” worries Young. “My niece is pregnant, so we’re kind of concerned about that. Anybody who might be pregnant or have infants is always a concern.”

Horry County Interim Spokesperson Kelly Brosky says the stormwater department notified Young and her neighbors of the virus after DHEC informed them an infected horse died about three weeks ago.

“People don’t understand this,” says Brosky. “One shot is all you need to protect your horses from this deadly virus.”

Young says Cool Rider has been vaccinated but she’s grateful the county gave her community proper notice.

“Doing all we can and just hoping that one lone mosquito isn’t out there that’s going to get us,” says Young.

After finishing aerial spraying Thursday, Horry County stormwater management will come back in about two weeks and assess the situation and possibly spray again.

According to DHEC records, only four other cases of EEEV have been reported in the state this year.