State receives $200,000 to fight West Nile

State receives $200,000 to fight West Nile A $201,594 federal grant will mean more testing for West Nile virus in South Dakota and more education for the public about how to reduce their risk, said a health official.

South Dakota is among 14 states and two cities to receive the grants announced Aug. 28 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to combat the virus, said Secretary of Health Doneen Hollingsworth.

"In the past two years we've used CDC grant funding to beef up our laboratory capacity and our surveillance system so we could be prepared when West Nile reached our state," said Hollingsworth. "This new funding assures that we can continue to track the spread of the virus in South Dakota and equally as important, provide the public education to tell people how to protect themselves."

The secretary said the grant dollars will support increased surveillance for the disease, continued testing of horses, birds, and mosquitoes, and ongoing public education efforts.

The grant dollars will also help support mosquito management training sessions for local officials involved in mosquito control. Two such sessions have already been held this summer over the Digital Dakota Network and Extension's V-tel Network at locations across the state. The trainings were sponsored by the SDSU Cooperative Extension Service, the South Dakota Municipal League and the Department of Health. Hollingsworth said the new grant funds mean more such training sessions can be provided.

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