West Nile claims victim in Minnehaha County, 3 deaths total - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

West Nile claims victim in Minnehaha County, 3 deaths total

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An elderly person living in Minnehaha County is the latest fatal victim of West Nile virus in South Dakota.

South Dakota's State Epidemiologist Dr. Lon Kightlinger said West Nile virus claimed the life of a person 75 years or older. The Department of Health does not release anymore information about victims.

According to the South Dakota Department of Health's West Nile Update, there have been 195 human cases of West Nile virus reported in South Dakota. Most of the cases were reported in Brown and Minnehaha counties—37 and 16 human cases, respectively.

The peak number of cases happened during the first week of August when about 40 cases were reported. Cases declined after that period and Kightlinger said they will continue to do so.

"As the nights grow cooler and the days grow shorter mosquito activity just decreases," Kightlinger said.

As for when the West Nile season is finished, Kightlinger said it takes only one hard frost—at 28 degrees—to kill off mosquitoes. Fortunately for the Aberdeen area and much of northern South Dakota, Kightlinger said that region has already seen its hard freeze.

"There are very few mosquitoes out now so it's essentially over," Kightlinger said. "It just takes one frost."

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