Dry conditions create greater concern over West Nile Virus

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO)– Lots of people will be spending time outside as we celebrate the Fourth of July.

While you’re outdoors, it’s important to fend off mosquitoes, even as the dry weather stays put.

People often associate mosquitoes with water, but these hot, dry conditions in KELOLAND don’t diminish your risk for West Nile.

“The mosquito that spreads West Nile most readily loves intermittent water that dries up periodically and these drier drought conditions, and so it’s actually of a greater concern to us when we have this dry weather,” Sioux Falls Health Dept. Health Program Coordinator Denis Patton said.

On top of bug spray, Becky Jaspers and her family take a few different steps to keep the insects away.

“We have a family member whose life was quite affected when she had West Nile and so since we personally know someone we’re pretty careful and respectful of how serious it can be,” Becky Jaspers of Hartford said.

While Health Program Coordinator Denise Patton says the Midwest typically enters peak transmission season about a week or two after Independence Day, it’s possible to contract the virus now.

“Wear DEET all summer. If you’re going to be outdoors it’s just best to do that,” Patton said.

For more tips on how to protect yourself against mosquitoes, click here.

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