In a September 19, 2018 press release, the South Dakota Department of Health indicated that West Nile Virus positive mosquitoes were detected in Beadle, Brookings, Brown, Custer, Davison, Hughes, Lincoln, Minnehaha and Stanley counties. Viremic blood donors (i.e., tested positive for West Nile Virus) have been detected in Brown, Edmunds, Faulk, Hand, Lawrence, Minnehaha, Pennington, Potter, Spink, Todd and Tripp counties.
A total of 140 human cases of West Nile Virus infection from 46 counties have reported to the South Dakota Department of Health. The human cases have originated from Beadle, Bon Homme, Brookings, Brown, Brule, Buffalo, Butte, Charles Mix, Clark, Clay, Codington, Corson, Davison, Day, Dewey, Douglas, Edmunds, Faulk, Grant, Hamlin, Hanson, Hughes, Hutchinson, Hyde, Kingsbury, Lake, Lincoln, Lyman, Marshall, Meade, Mellette, Miner, Minnehaha, Oglala Lakota, Pennington, Potter, Roberts, Spink, Stanley, Sully, Tripp, Union, Walworth, Yankton and Ziebach counties. The greatest number of cases per county include Brown (15 cases), Minnehaha (12 cases), Pennington (9 cases) and Codington (7 cases).
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. This is especially important since it is now getting dark earlier and many activities are still occurring while mosquitos may be active. 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 similar active ingredients to provide further protection. This page provides a helpful tool for choosing a repellant that will provide the best protection based on the desired activities. Mosquito activity may be reduced with cooler weather, but mosquitos will remain active until the first hard frost.