First West Nile Positive Mosquitoes Reported
PIERRE, S.D. – Mosquito pools in Brookings and Hughes counties are South Dakota's first West Nile virus (WNV) detections of the season, the health department reported today. To date, the state public health laboratory has tested 57 Culex mosquito pools from Brookings, Codington, Davison and Hughes counties and these are the first to test positive. In 2012 the first positive mosquito pool was detected July 2 and the first human case was reported July 13
"This will be the twelfth year of West Nile transmission in South Dakota and it may be tempting to be complacent," said Dr. Lon Kightlinger, state epidemiologist for the Department of Health. "But West Nile can be a serious, even fatal illness, and we need to get in the habit of protecting ourselves by using repellents, limiting exposure and getting rid of mosquito breeding spots."
Kightlinger said people can prevent mosquito bites and reduce their risk of WNV by:
These precautions are especially important for people at high risk for complications from WNV. This includes individuals over 50, pregnant women, transplant patients, and people who have diabetes, high blood pressure or a history of alcohol abuse.
Since its first human WNV case in 2002, South Dakota has reported more than 2,000 cases, including 29 deaths. South Dakota cases have occurred as early as June but peak transmission is July through early September.