"These communities have control programs in place and are working hard to knock down mosquito numbers. We want to make sure they have what they need to do the job," said Rounds.
The supplemental funds can be used for increasing buffer zones around communities, control efforts for special events or mass gatherings and expanded control operations. �
"Local control programs are an important part of South Dakota's West Nile prevention effort but it's just as important that people protect themselves by using repellent. The most effective control program in the world can't eliminate every mosquito," said Rounds.
Rounds said the state identified $250,000 for additional control efforts in May, when spring flooding raised concerns about increased mosquito activity. The rest of those dollars are being held in reserve to target other areas if case counts in the coming weeks show high activity.
The Department of Health recommends the following precautions to prevent mosquito bites and reduce the risk of WNV:
- Use mosquito repellents containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus, and cover as much skin as possible with loose-fitting clothing.
- Limit time outdoors at night when mosquitoes are most active.
- Eliminate standing water that gives mosquitoes a place to breed.�
- Support local mosquito control efforts.
"Because people aren't seeing the numbers of nuisance mosquitoes, they mistakenly assume there is no West Nile threat. But mosquito traps across the state are still showing high levels of Culex tarsalis, the mosquito that transmits West Nile to humans, so it's no time to be complacent," said Tom Martinec, Health Systems Director for the Department of �Health. "Based on our six years of experience with this disease, we know that now is the peak transmission time and it's critical that people protect themselves." �
To date, 46 cases of human WNV, including one death, have been reported in South Dakota. For more information about�West Nile,�visit the Department of Health's Web site at http://westnile.sd.gov or call 1-800-592-1861.�Information is also available from the�SDSU Cooperative Extension Service at http://sdces.sdstate.edu/westnile/�and the South Dakota Animal Industry Board at www.state.sd.us/aib.