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West Nile Virus Detected In South Dakota

South Dakota Public Broadcasting

The state Health Department reported the first human West Nile virus detection earlier this month: a Buffalo County child in the 10 to 19 age group. In June, mosquito pools in Brookings and Hughes counties were South Dakota's first West Nile virus detections of the season. In 2012 the first positive mosquito pool was detected July 2 and the first human case was reported July 13. 203 human cases were reported last year with 3 deaths. Since its first human WNV case in 2002, South Dakota has reported more than 2,000 cases, including 29 deaths. South Dakota cases have occurred as early as June but peak transmissions is July through early September. "This will be the twelfth year of West Nile transmission in South Dakota and it may be tempting to be complacent," says Dr. Lon Kightlinger, state epidemiologist for the Department of Health. "But West Nile can be a serious, even fatal illness, and we need to get in the habit of protecting ourselves by using repellents, limiting exposure and getting rid of mosquito breeding spots."