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South Dakota’s First West Nile Case of the Season

A child in Buffalo County, in central South Dakota, is the state’s first human West Nile virus detection of the season.

The State Health Department says the child is in the 10-to-19 age group.

State Epidemiologist Dr. Lon Kightlinger says the earlier discovery of West Nile-positive mosquitoes and now a person with the disease indicate the active transmission of the West Nile virus in the state.

Kightlinger says people need to protect themselves, especially during outdoor activities in the evening.

The State Health Department has these recommended precautions:

Use mosquito repellents (DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535) and limit exposure by wearing pants and long sleeves in the evening.

Limit time outdoors from dusk to midnight when Culex mosquitoes are most active.

Get rid of standing water that gives mosquitoes a place to breed.

Support local mosquito control efforts.

The Department says personal precautions are especially important for those at high risk for WNV – people over 50, pregnant women, transplant patients, individuals with diabetes or high blood pressure, and those with a history of alcohol abuse. People with severe or unusual headaches should see their physicians.

The Health Department says three mosquito pools earlier tested positive for WNV in South Dakota: two in Brookings County and one in Hughes County.

All of the positive pools were Culex tarsalis, the primary carrier of the virus in South Dakota.

 

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