In an August 8, 2018 press release, the South Dakota Department of Health indicated that mosquitoes that testing positive for West Nile Virus were detected in Beadle, Brookings, Brown, Davison, Hughes, Lincoln, Minnehaha and Stanley counties in South Dakota. Viremic blood donors (i.e., blood that tested positive for West Nile Virus) have been detected in Brown, Faulk, Hand, Lawrence, Minnehaha, Pennington, Potter, Spink, Todd and Tripp counties. So far, 27 human cases of West Nile Virus infection have been reported to the South Dakota Department of Health. The human cases came from Brown, Buffalo, Charles Mix, Day, Dewey, Edmunds, Faulk, Hanson, Hughes, Hyde, Lincoln, Marshall, Minnehaha, Pennington, Potter, Roberts, Spink, Tripp, Walworth and Yankton counties. The SDSU Mosquito Information Systems prediction for 2018 is 124 projected cases.
The WNV season is far from over, so it is important to continue taking precautions to minimize your risk of contracting the virus. As mentioned in a previous article, the best ways to reduce the chances of contracting West Nile Virus is to limit outdoor activities between dusk and dawn. If you are outside after dark, make sure to cover as much of your skin as possible by wearing long sleeves and pants. We also recommend using insect repellants that contain DEET or another CDC-approved active ingredient to provide further protection. This link provides a helpful tool for choosing a repellant that will provide the best protection based on the desired activities.