South Dakota officials have detected the West Nile virus in mosquitoes in Brookings and Brown counties, the first detections of the season.
The Health Department is urging state residents to not become complacent about the virus that can lead to serious and even fatal illness. State Epidemiologist Lon Kightlinger says people should get in the habit of protecting themselves through such means as limiting exposure to mosquitoes, eliminating standing water and using bug repellent.
The peak West Nile virus period in South Dakota is July through early September. South Dakota has reported nearly 1,800 cases including 26 deaths since the first case in 2002.