Mosquito-borne Diseases

Horry County residents and visitors are concerned about recent reports of mosquito-borne disease.

For specific information about mosquito-borne illness, please visit the Centers for Disease Control. For specifics about the Zika virus, please visit this CDC page. For more information on the Zika virus and how to protect yourself and your family, call the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control's toll free Care Line at 1-800-868-0404.

Common mosquito-borne diseases in the U.S. include West Nile virus, Chikungunya virus, eastern equine encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis, LaCrosse encephalitis, and dog heartworm. Mosquitoes do NOT transmit HIV/AIDS. For more detailed information, visit the SC Dept. of Health and Environmental Control's Mosquito website.

Mosquito-borne diseases can affect pets and domestic animals. PLEASE ensure that your pets and domestic animals are vaccinated or treated against common diseases, such as dog heartworm and eastern equine encephalitis. Once an animal is infected, it may be difficult or impossible to treat and the effects may be life-threatening.

Horry County Mosquito Control uses insect collection traps to monitor mosquitoes and mosquito-borne diseases. Mosquito Control uses these surveillance devices to identify the location and extent of mosquito-related problems. PLEASE DO NOT DISTURB our surveillance traps. These traps provide critical public health information.

West Nile virus (WNV) can infect birds which can then act as transmitters of disease. When a mosquito draws blood from an infected bird, it carries WNV and may transmit the disease to other animals, including humans. Horry County encourages its citizens and visitors to report dead birds by calling 843-381-8000. Specifically, SC Dept. of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) will evaluate dead American crows, fish crows, blue jays, house finches, and house sparrows from March 15-November 30 to determine whether they are carriers of WNV. SCDHEC will consider evaluating a dead bird if:

  • the bird is "freshly dead" (within 24 hours)
  • the bird is intact (no physical trauma)
  • no maggots (fly larvae) are present
  • the body is not stiff
  • the bird does not have sunken eyes
  • the bird appears dead by natural causes
If you encounter a dead bird, please do not handle the body with your bare hands.