July 15, 2021
PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Department of Health has confirmed the first West Nile virus mosquito pools of the season have been detected in Brookings and Codington Counties.
State officials urge the public to take simple steps to protect themselves and their families against West Nile Virus, which can cause fever, headaches, rash, swollen lymph nodes and muscle and joint aches.
“Given the rural nature of our state and increased outdoor activities during the summer, protecting yourself against mosquito bites remains an important factor against West Nile infection,” said Dr. Joshua Clayton, State Epidemiologist for the Department of Health. “Something as simple as using bug spray or limiting activities between dusk-to-dawn hours can reduce your infection risk significantly.”
Prevent mosquito bites and reduce the risk of West Nile Virus by applying mosquito repellents to clothes and exposed skin. Limit exposure by wearing pants and long sleeves in the evening, limit time outdoors from dusk to midnight when mosquitoes are most active, and remove standing water that gives mosquitoes a place to breed. Regularly change water in bird baths, outside pet dishes, and drain water from other flowerpots and garden containers.
Since its first human West Nile Virus case in 2002, South Dakota has reported 2,634 human cases, including 850 hospitalizations and 46 deaths. Every county has reported cases.