Health Coordinator Warns West Nile Season Begins

Local News

If you are out enjoying fireworks tonight, you’ll want to protect yourself. We’re not just talking about burns. There’s a biting truth about this point in the summer that could make you sick if you’re not careful. 

From 5K fun runs, to parades, to barbecues, and good old fashioned patriotism; there are a lot of ways to celebrate the Fourth of July. Most people will cap things off with a dazzling spray of fireworks. 

“I think the pretty colors are mostly what I like. Just the way it comes out at you,” Viola Swenson said.

Unfortunately, that’s not all that will be coming out for you. 

“It’s going to be extra ‘bitey’ this year, because obviously we have had all this rain and have had a lot of barriers to getting out spraying,” Denise Patton, Sioux Falls Health Program Coordinator, said. 

Patton says despite the rain and wind, her workers have tried to spray all the parks, fairgrounds, and any other place that will have Fourth of July celebrations. She says a citywide spraying is coming next week. That’s why Patton says she’s counting on people to protect themselves with bug spray or long clothing when they’re out this evening. 

“Unfortunately this rain has just pushed a lot of mosquitoes out and about. They’re hatching,” Patton said.  

Patton is only scratching the surface of why you need to be careful, because there’s more to worry about than just an itch. 

“It’s kind of the turning point of the season where we start seeing West Nile popping up,” Patton said. 

“So far, I haven’t had any problems,”Swenson said. 

Swenson plans to keep it that way. Before she caps off her night with American pride tonight, she’ll grab the bug spray. 

“I couldn’t stand being out and getting bit up all the time, you know,” Swenson said. 

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