State distributes mosquito control chemicals to counties

South Dakota counties with flood disaster declarations will get some state help with mosquito control, Gov. Dennis Daugaard said.

The governor said state government is distributing $200,000 in mosquito control chemicals to 122 programs in the 36 counties with flood disaster declarations in place. Funding to purchase the chemicals comes from Department of Health general funds, the result of savings in its FY 2011 budget.

Floodwater mosquitoes are typically nuisance mosquitoes and present a lower risk for WNV than the Culex tarsalis, which is the primary carrier of the virus in the state. Peak transmission of WNV in South Dakota occurs from mid-July through mid- September, but cases can also occur earlier.

The Department of Health is also enhancing its surveillance and laboratory testing for West Nile Virus, and the Department of Game, Fish and Parks will do mosquito surveillance and control (as needed) in state parks and recreation areas across South Dakota.

Gov. Daugaard urges South Dakotans to protect themselves from WNV by following these precautions:

�  Use mosquito repellent (DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535) and limit exposure by wearing appropriate clothes

� Limit time outdoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active

�  Eliminate places where mosquitoes breed.  Get rid of old tires and other containers that accumulate water; regularly change water in bird baths and outside pet dishes, and drain water from flower pots and other garden containers.

For more information about West Nile, visit the state health department�s website, http://westnile.sd.gov.

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