South Dakota reports 36 more West Nile cases

South Dakota reports 36 more West Nile cases The Department of Health reported 36 more human West Nile cases Oct. 3, bringing the total number of reported cases to 978. There have been eight West Nile deaths reported in South Dakota. Nationally, there have been 5,971 West Nile cases and 119 deaths reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Every county in the state, except Deuel County, has now reported human West Nile cases. Counties with the highest number of cases include Pennington (128), Brown (80), Minnehaha (52), Hughes (41), Butte (39), Meade (26), Charles Mix (24), Lawrence (24), Dewey (22), Fall River (22), Shannon (22), Davison (20) and Marshall (20). The eight deaths occurred in Brown, Clay, Meade, Pennington (3), Shannon and Ziebach Counties.

The South Dakota Public Health Laboratory has processed 6,500 human West Nile tests using the IgM EIA method. The Department of Health has also reported 89 out-of-state West Nile disease cases to their home states.

Of South Dakota's cases, 139 have been reported with meningitis, encephalitis or meningoencephalitis; 709 with West Nile fever; and 6 with acute flaccid paralysis syndrome associated with WNV infection. Many cases are still under investigation or have a pending diagnosis. Fifty-two percent of the cases are male and 48 percent are female. Eighty-eight percent of the cases are white and 11 percent are Native American. The median age is 44 years and the ages range from less than 1 month to 96 years. The elderly are at greatest risk of meningoencephalitis, the most severe form of WNV disease; 54 percent of the cases are over 50. The median age of the deaths is 79 years (range 34-89). The deaths are 75 percent male and 25 percent female.

There have been 57 asymptomatic individuals detected through routine screening of blood donations since July in South Dakota.

Non-human West Nile positives have included 600 mosquitoes, 122 birds, 73 ill horses, two dogs and two squirrels.

Although the risk of infection decreases with cooler fall weather, the West Nile transmission season will continue until an area experiences its first hard frost, which is a temperature of 28�F or less. People are encouraged to take anti-mosquito precautions until the first hard frost hits their area.

For more information please go to the South Dakota West Nile Virus Web site www.state.sd.us/doh/westnile.

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