Protect health during flood

The Department of Health offers the following fact sheet to provide basic information about some typical flood-related health and safety concerns. Find more information about flood response and safety at South Dakota�s disaster recovery site,

Water Safety

While flood water is not inherently infectious, people should take the same precautions they would with any pond, lake, river or swimming pool and avoid drinking or swallowing the water.


Flood waters will increase the population of nuisance mosquitoes such as Aedes vexans but the risk of West Nile virus remains low because such species are not efficient carriers of the virus. Regular use of mosquito repellents (DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, IR3535) while outdoors can protect flood responders from these nuisance species and get them in the habit of using protective measures for the peak WNV transmission season in South Dakota, mid-July through mid-September.

Wild Animals

Avoid contact with wild animals (skunks, raccoons, minks, etc.) displaced by flood water to prevent potential exposure to rabies and other animal-borne illnesses. 

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