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West Nile Virus Detected in South Dakota Mosquitoes

It might not be long before we begin to hear about West Nile cases in South Dakota.

The State Health Department says mosquito pools in Brookings and Hughes counties are the state’s first West Nile virus (WNV) detections of the season.

So far, the state public health laboratory has tested 57 Culex mosquito pools from Brookings, Codington, Davison and Hughes counties and these are the first to test positive.

Last year, the first positive mosquito pool was detected July 2 and the first human case was reported July 13.

State Epidemiologist Dr. Lon Kightlinger says the first West Nile case in the state was reported in 2002, and since then the state has seen more than 2,000 cases and 29 deaths.

Kightlinger says you can keep mosquitoes from biting and thus reduce your risk of WNV by using repellents and limit your exposure by covering up.

He also recommends, among other things, limiting your time outdoors from dusk to midnight, when Culex mosquitoes, the primary carrier of the virus in South Dakota, are the most active.

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