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August 06, 2012 11:48 AM

SD Reports First West Nile Death Since 2007

sioux falls, sd

A Hughes County resident has died from West Nile Virus.

The death is the first one in South Dakota since 2007.  The patient is said to be in the 80 to 89 age group.

"This unfortunate death is a sad reminder that those over age 50 are at higher risk for West Nile complications," State Epidemiologist for the Department of Health Dr. Lon Kightlinger said in a statement.

Thirteen South Dakota counties have reported West Nile Virus cases this summer.  There have been nine human cases, seven positive blood donors, one positive horse, one positive bird and 34 positive mosquito pools. 

Since its first case in 2002, South Dakota has reported more than 1,700 human cases and 27 deaths.

The Department of Health recommends people take the following precautions to prevent mosquito bites:

  • Use mosquito repellents (DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535) and limit exposure by covering up.
  • Limit time outdoors from dusk to midnight when Culex mosquitoes are most active.
  • Get rid of standing water that gives mosquitoes a place to breed.
  • Support local mosquito control efforts.
  • 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.  

Visit the South Dakota Department of Health website for more West Nile Virus prevention.


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