A 42-year-old female, Union County resident is South Dakota’s first human West Nile Virus (WNV) death of the 2021 season, the state Health Department confirmed Tuesday.
South Dakota has historically had a disproportionately high number of WNV cases compared to other states, and residents can reduce their risk by taking the following actions:
Those most at risk from WNV include residents over 50, pregnant women, organ transplant patients, individuals with cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure or kidney disease, and those with a history of alcohol abuse. People with severe or unusual headaches should see their physicians as soon as symptoms begin.
The state’s first human case was reported in 2001. Since then, South Dakota has reported 2,624 human cases and 47 deaths.
Visit the department’s website at westnile.sd.gov for more information about WNV.