First case of West Nile virus detected in South Dakota

(KSFY) - State health officials say the first case of human West Nile virus of the season has been found in South Dakota.

Source: MGN Online

According to State Epidemiologist Joshua Clayton, the case was detected in a blood donor in Todd County. He is in the 30-39 age group.

“This individual was not ill but was detected through the routine screening of blood donations that takes place to make sure the blood supply is safe,” Clayton said in a press release. “It’s a clear indication that mosquito-to-human WNV transmission is taking place and people need to protect themselves.”

The following are ways to reduce the risk of WNV transmission, according to the South Dakota Department of Health:

• Apply mosquito repellents (DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, 2-undecanone or IR3535) to clothes and exposed skin.
• Reduce mosquito exposure by wearing pants and long sleeves when outdoors.
• Limit time outdoors from dusk to dawn when Culex mosquitoes, the primary carrier of WNV in South Dakota, are most active.
• Get rid of standing water that gives mosquitoes a place to breed.
- Regularly change water in bird baths, ornamental fountains and pet dishes.
- Drain water from flower pots and garden containers.
- Discard old tires, buckets, cans or other containers that can hold water.
- Clean rain gutters to allow water to flow freely.
• Support local mosquito control efforts.

Clayton said individuals over 50, pregnant woman, individuals with cancer, diabetes, or kidney disease, and those with a history of alochol abuse are most susceptible to the effects of WNV.

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