Cindy Davis & The Associated Press
A Winner man is the second person to die in South Dakota from the West Nile virus this year.
Paul Douglas Bennett, 85, died on Aug. 26 at Rapid City Regional Hospital, according to his nephew, David Bennett.
Paul Bennett had a ranch south of Wood, South Dakota. He was a Korean War veteran and a former Chief of Police in Winner.
State Epidemiologist Dr. Lon Kightlinger calls this is one of the most serious seasons in years. He says that while fewer people are contracting the mosquito-borne virus, those who do are sicker than patients in previous years.
Kightlinger says 62 percent of those infected with West Nile have been hospitalized because of their symptoms - more than twice the rate in an average year.
The first death of the year was a Turner County resident in their 70s.