Rounds urges South Dakotans to prevent West Nile Virus Gov. Mike Rounds is encouraging South Dakotans to be proactive in preventing West Nile Virus this year.
"Every South Dakotan can help prevent West Nile Virus, and we can't assume a city control program is enough," said Gov. Rounds. "Wherever we live, we can all get rid of mosquito breeding areas and help reduce the impact of West Nile."
South Dakota has announced a $700,000 grant program to help communities purchase mosquito control equipment and chemicals.
"The response to the grant program was even better than we anticipated when we introduced the legislation," said Rounds. "It's great to see so many cities, counties and tribes interested in setting up mosquito control programs."
"Community programs and South Dakota's grant program will help," said Secretary of Health Doneen Hollingsworth, "but individuals still need to take an active role in protecting themselves."
Because even a small amount of standing water provides mosquitoes with a habitat to breed, Gov. Rounds is encouraging South Dakotans to take a close look at their own properties. The following suggestions offer a starting point for eliminating breeding spots and reducing the risk of West Nile:
* Removing old tires and other containers where water can accumulate;
* Drilling holes in the bottom of tires labeled "No Hunting" or "No Trespassing" to allow drainage;
* �Collecting litter along streets and highways;
* Cleaning up abandoned dump sites where appliances, vehicles, and other containers accumulate water. If this is not possible, treating site with larvicide;
* Filling in ruts and low spots;
* Changing water in bird baths and outside pet dishes regularly; and,
* Draining water from flower pots and other garden containers.
The governor is also encouraging all South Dakotans to practice personal precautions by staying indoors at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active, wearing protective clothing and using a repellent containing DEET.
"The most successful mosquito control program will not eliminate every mosquito," said Rounds.
"If we support control programs by helping to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds and by using personal protection, we will significantly reduce the risk of West Nile."
More information, call Kevin Forsch, Department of Health, (605) 773-3361 or visit the Department of Health web site at www.state.sd.us/doh/WestNile/.