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August 14, 2012 05:43 PM

West Nile Cases Rising In Brown County

Aberdeen, SD

The state released new numbers Tuesday and the West Nile threat is picking up in South Dakota.

With 16 confirmed human cases, Brown County seems to be at the center of it all. It accounts for more than a third of the state’s West Nile cases. And officials are saying the numbers could continue rising.

With the Brown County Fair running throughout the week, there are plenty of chances for plenty of people to receive a bite from a mosquito carrying West Nile.  Across town, Nareena Guhin would urge them all to use bug spray.

"Waking up one morning my husband said, 'How do you feel?' I said, 'Kind of like I got hit by a bus.' And that is exactly how you feel," Guhin said.

Guhin runs a drive-thru coffee shop and recently found out she has West Nile. Given the virus isn't contagious, she can still work but she's been battling its effects as her doctor monitors her closely.

As people are outside for events such as the Brown County Fair, officials are urging caution. City traps show there aren't as many mosquitoes as years past. But many of those flying around are the kind that can get you sick.

"We have a lot of West Nile. We've had an area that I would say is probably kind of the ground zero for South Dakota for West Nile and probably for the four-state area," Mark Hoven said.

Hoven heads Aberdeen’s Mosquito Control. He says the first human West Nile case of the year for Brown County happened in June and he expects mosquitoes carrying the virus to stick around through September.

Back at her coffee shop, you don't have to tell Guhin twice to be careful. She has a daughter she'll be dousing with bug spray and she urges others to do the same.

"Yeah, just be careful with your kids. I mean I'm pretty healthy and strong and it's really knocked me down," Guhin said.

Aberdeen Mosquito Control has sprayed at the fairgrounds by land and air in an attempt to knock down the mosquito threat. But officials are asking the public to do their part as well.

Read more about West Nile Virus in South Dakota online. 

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  • Aberdeen, SD
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