PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The first human West Nile virus case of 2020 in South Dakota has been confirmed by the South Dakota Department of Health.
According to health officials, a McCook County resident is the first reported case in South Dakota.
In a news release, State Epidemiologist Dr. Joshua Clayton said “Active transmission of West Nile virus is occurring in South Dakota and people need to protect themselves, especially during evening outdoor activities.”
Since first being reported as a virus in 2001, South Dakota has had 2,613 human cases and 46 deaths.
Health officials say people should apply mosquito repellents, reduce mosquito exposure with pants and long sleeves when outside, limit time outdoors from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are most active and to get rid of standing water that helps mosquitoes breed.
High risk individuals for West Nile include people over 50, pregnant women, organ transplant patients, people with cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease or people with a history of alcohol abuse.
People with severe or unusual headaches should see his or her physician.