Gov. Mike Rounds has announced that the South Dakota Department of Health is awarding $518,000 in grants to help cities, counties and tribes purchase mosquito control equipment. This is the third year that grants have been given to local governments as part of West Nile Virus preparations in South Dakota. In 2004 and 2005, more than $1.3 million in grants were awarded for mosquito control. Vermillion, Wakonda and Clay County will receive $17,815 in mosquito control funds.
"The number of local mosquito control programs has increased since West Nile arrived in South Dakota," Gov. Rounds. " Along with personal protection, these local programs are the most important things we can do to prevent West Nile and other mosquito borne diseases. We're pleased that we've been able to provide these grants to help communities protect their residents."
A total of 85 applications were received representing 152 communities, 24 counties and six tribes. In this year's grant program, startup programs were eligible for both chemical and equipment funding. Control programs that were funded in 2004 and 2005 were only eligible for chemical funding.
South Dakota's first case of human WNV was reported in 2002. Since then, 1,357 cases and 17 deaths have been reported in the state. WNV prevention information is on the Web at http://westnile.sd.gov/.