The South Dakota Department of Health confirmed the first West Nile virus mosquito pools of the season have been detected in Brookings and Codington counties. State officials urge the public to take simple steps to protect themselves and their families against West Nile Virus, which can cause fever, headaches, rash, swollen lymph nodes and muscle and joint aches.
State Epidemiologist Dr. Joshua Clayton said that people should protect themselves against mosquito bites by using bug spray or limiting activities between dusk-to-dawn hours.
Another way to prevent mosquito bites and reduce the risk of West Nile Virus is to remove standing water that gives mosquitoes a place to breed.
Clayton said that 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.
Since it’s first human West Nile Virus case in 2002, the state has reported more than 26-hundred human cases, including 850 hospitalizations and 46 deaths.