South Dakota reports first human West Nile Virus case of 2021


PIERRE, S.D. — The South Dakota Department of Health announced on Friday it has confirmed its first case of West Nile Virus in a human in 2021.

The patient is a male in his 60’s residing in Walworth County.

South Dakota has recorded 2,634 human cases, 850 hospitalizations, and 46 deaths from West Nile Virus since 2002. A disproportionately high number of those cases have involved inflammation of the brain or spinal cord.

“Protecting yourself from mosquito bites, especially during evening hours, remains vitally important to avoid becoming infected with West Nile Virus,” said Dr. Joshua Clayton, State Epidemiologist.

The following tips can help reduce the risk of contracting West Nile Virus:

  • Apply mosquito repellents (DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, 2-undecanone, param-menthane-diol, or IR3535) to clothes and exposed skin. Limit exposure by wearing pants and long sleeves in the evening;
  • Limit time outdoors from dusk to midnight when mosquitoes are most active. Culex tarsalis are the primary carrier of WNV in South Dakota;
  • Remove standing water that gives mosquitoes a place to breed. Regularly change the water in birdbaths, outside pet dishes, and drain water from other flowerpots and garden containers and stay away from areas near standing water; and
  • Support local mosquito control efforts.

CLICK HERE for more information on West Nile Virus.

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