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(S.D.)-State’s First Human Case Of West Nile Virus Reported This Season

By: Roxie Graham-Marski Posted at: 07/02/2013 11:43 AM

(PIERRE, S.D.)–The South Dakota state health department says a Buffalo County child is South Dakota’s first human case of West Nile virus (WNV) this season. The child is between 10 and 19 years of age. State epidemiologist Lon Kightlinger says, “People need to protect themselves, especially during evening outdoor activities, such as 4th of July fireworks shows, against the transmission of West Nile.

Since 2002, South Dakota has had more than 2,000 reported cases of West Nile Virus, including 29 deaths.

To prevent mosquito bites and reduce the risk of the virus, the department recommends the following personal 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 many mosquitoes are most active.
--Get rid of standing water that gives mosquitoes a place to breed.
--Support local mosquito control efforts. Get rid of standing water that may provide a place for mosquitoes to breed.
 
Personal precautions are especially important for those at high risk for West Nile – 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 a physician.
 
Three mosquito pools have tested positive for WNV so far this season in South Dakota, two in Brookings County and one in Hughes County. All of the positive pools were Culex tarsalis, the variety of mosquitoes that are the primary carriers of the virus in South Dakota. More West Nile prevention information can be found online at http://westnile.sd.gov. Information is also available at http://www.sdstate.edu/sdces/issues/wnv.cfm.
 
--South Dakota’s Department of Public Safety


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