PIERRE, S.D. – A Turner County resident is South Dakota’s first human West Nile virus (WNV) detection of the season, the state Health Department reported today. The person is in the 30 to 39 age group.

“Active transmission of West Nile virus is occurring in South Dakota and people need to protect themselves, especially during evening outdoor activities, such as 4th of July fireworks shows,” said Dr. Joshua Clayton, State Epidemiologist for the department.

Clayton said South Dakota has historically had a disproportionately high number of WNV cases compared to other states and he encouraged residents to reduce their risk by taking the following actions:

  • Apply mosquito repellents to clothes and exposed skin
  • Reduce mosquito exposure by wearing pants and long sleeves when outdoors
  • Limit time outdoors from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are most active
  • Get rid of standing water that gives mosquitoes a place to breed
  • Regularly change water in bird baths, ornamental fountains and pet dishes
  • Drain water from flower pots and garden containers
  • Discard old tires, buckets, cans or other containers that can hold water
  • Clean rain gutters to allow water to flow freely

These precautions are especially important for people at high risk for WNV, including individuals over 50, pregnant women, organ transplant patients, and individuals with cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure or kidney disease, and those with a history of alcohol abuse. People with severe or unusual headaches should see their physicians.

Visit the department’s website at westnile.sd.gov for more information about WNV.

Source: sd.gov