PIERRE – A Buffalo County child is South Dakota’s first human West Nile virus (WNV) detection of the season, the state Health Department reported today. The person is in the 10 to 19 age group.
“West Nile positive mosquitoes and now a sick individual indicate the active transmission of West Nile virus in South Dakota and people need to protect themselves, especially during evening outdoor activities, such as 4th of July fireworks shows” said Dr. Lon Kightlinger, State Epidemiologist for the department.
To prevent mosquito bites and reduce the risk of WNV, the department recommends the following personal precautions:
· Use mosquito repellents (DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535) and limit exposure by wearing pants and long sleeves in the evening.
· Limit time outdoors from dusk to midnight when Culex mosquitoes are most active.
· Get rid of standing water that gives mosquitoes a place to breed.
· Support local mosquito control efforts.
Personal precautions are especially important for those at high risk for WNV – people over 50, pregnant women, transplant patients, individuals with diabetes or high blood pressure, and those with a history of alcohol abuse. People with severe or unusual headaches should see their physicians.
Three mosquito pools have tested positive for WNV so far this season in South Dakota, two in Brookings County and one in Hughes County. All of the positive pools were Culex tarsalis, the primary carrier of the virus in South Dakota.