SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Two South Dakotans have tested positive for West Nile. The first human cases of the season are in Minnehaha and Spink counties.
Summer in KELOLAND means mosquitoes and the West Nile virus.
South Dakota is actually one of the states with the highest rate of West Nile Virus Infections in the United States.
“They believe that it has something to do with intermittent waters that will dry up so actually when it’s really hot and dry and we get a rain like we did last night or something that lasts for a week or so they love that kind of habitat. So, irrigation, agriculture that sort of thing I guess are some of the hypothesis is that they like it here so much,” Denise Patton said.
Most cases are mild. You may not even notice the symptoms.
“So, people may feel achy or a little tired or they may have a headache, but the vast majority of cases resolve on their own,” said Jennifer Hsu.
Infectious Diseases Specialist Jennifer Hsu says the best way to protect yourself is to wear protective clothing and stay inside when mosquitoes are most prevalent.
“Avoiding those high mosquitoes times of day around dusk and dawn and so those are the biggest things people can do to prevent mosquito bites, and then around your home making sure you don’t have containers of standing water open and those are things that people can modify around their homes to reduce the risk of mosquito bites,” Hsu said.
The city of Sioux Falls is also taking steps to keep you safe, including monitoring mosquitoes and spraying.
“They’re an interactive map out on the city of Sioux Falls mosquito control page that will allow you to scan your address. It will zoom right in and tell you what zone you’re in so you can follow the mosquito’s spray events a little bit closer, you can see when it has been sprayed,” said Denise Patton.
Here is the link to check if City of Sioux Falls crews will be in your neighborhood.