Lon Kightlinger


In The Moment ... February 9, 2017 Show 027 Hour 2

Patrick Baker and Jim Speirs to talk about arts advocacy the state and preview the Governor's Awards for the Arts.

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Dr. Daniel Petereit developed the NCI-funded Walking Forward (WF) Program in 2002. WF was developed to address the high cancer incidence and mortality rates that American Indians (AIs) suffer who live in Western South Dakota.

South Dakota Public Broadcasting

West Nile has killed an elderly South Dakotan. State Health Department leaders say the person lived in Yankton County and was in the age range of 80 to 89. That case is one of dozens reported this summer, and officials looking to Labor Day expect even more infections.

South Dakota ended 2015 with 40 cases of West Nile Virus. State epidemiologist Lon Kightlinger says 2016 so far almost doubles last year’s total.

"We’re having a fairly heavy year this year with West Nile," Kightlinger says. "We’ve had 74 cases reported, and the number’s growing every day."

West Nile Virus Found In Brown County

Jun 14, 2016
South Dakota Public Broadcasting

Mosquitoes in Brown County tested positive for West Nile virus. It’s the first detection of the season in South Dakota. State epidemiologist Dr. Lon Kightlinger says this means the virus is here for the summer. Kightlinger says Brown County is the national hotspot for West Nile virus, but people across the state should take safety measures.

Officials Taking Zika Precautions

May 9, 2016

South Dakota officials are keeping an eye out for the Zika virus this summer. The state’s epidemiologist says residents don’t have to worry about it at home, but should be mindful if they travel to some places.


Seven Tularemia Cases Found In SD

Jul 28, 2015

Seven people in South Dakota have contracted tularemia. The state health department reports the disease in six adults over the age of 50 and one child who is younger than five. Some needed to be hospitalized.

Health officials discovered all seven tularemia cases in the northern part of the Black Hills. State epidemiologist Lon Kightlinger says the disease is sometimes called rabbit fever.

"Tularemia is often found in rabbits, and people get infected when they kill a rabbit or are exposed to rabbit blood," Kightlinger says.

CDC/Jim Gathany

The state health department is reporting the first West Nile virus detection case of the season. It was detected in a mosquito pool in Meade County last week.

Since its first human West Nile virus case in 2002, South Dakota has reported 2,168 human cases and nearly 700 hospitalizations with 32 deaths. In 2013 there were 149 human cases of West Nile with three deaths. Last year 57 cases were reported.

A recent surge in sexually transmitted diseases in South Dakota is prompting free screenings in Sioux Falls. Planned Parenthood is providing tests for four STDs at no charge this week. The advocacy group and a doctor with the state agree that STDs are a growing public health concern.

The state epidemiologist says South Dakota had record numbers of STDs in 2014. By the end of the year, 4,170 cases of chlamydia were found in South Dakota. That’s the most ever reported in the state in one year.

In December South Dakota saw its first case of measles since 1997. It was part of a Mitchell outbreak that resulted in 13 cases. An additional case unconnected with the Mitchell outbreak was reported in Sioux Falls on January 24. Nationwide there have been over 150 cases of measles since December, most connected to an outbreak at Disneyland. Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and the best protection is the measles vaccine. State epidemiologist Lon Kightlinger joined Dakota Midday and discussed measles, vaccinations and the flu season.

Centers for Disease Control

Along with parties and presents, the holiday season can also bring the flu. In the most recent report for the week ending December 6th, influenza activity in South Dakota was rated as "sporadic,” among the lowest in the country.

Jim Gathany CDC

The South Dakota Department of Health  is reporting the first human West Nile cases of the season. As of July 3, three human cases if West Nile virus had been reported in Hughes, Codington, and Lincoln Counties. Last year there were 149 human cases of West Nile, including three deaths.

West Nile Virus Detected In South Dakota

Jul 15, 2013
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.