South Dakota reports first two human West Nile virus cases of summer

August 3, 2022

PIERRE, S.D.–Today, the South Dakota Department of Health confirmed South Dakota’s first two human West Nile virus (WNV) detections of the 2022 season, in residents of Minnehaha and Spink Counties. South Dakota has reported more than 2,681 human cases and 47 deaths since WNV was first reported in 2002.

“West Nile Virus is an infection most commonly spread through mosquito bites,” said Dr. Joshua Clayton, state epidemiologist. “The rate of severe infection that includes swelling of the brain and spinal cord with symptoms of stiff neck, confusion, and muscle weakness is highest in South Dakota and other Midwest states. Raising awareness of human cases can ensure residents and visitors alike take action to reduce their risk.”