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Prevent West Nile with Simple Precautions





SOUTH DAKOTA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 24, 2011
CONTACT: Lon Kightlinger, (605) 773-3737                    
 
Prevent West Nile with Simple Precautions
PIERRE, S.D. – With increased mosquito populations likely from widespread flooding, South Dakotans need to protect themselves from West Nile virus (WNV), says a state health official.
“We do expect more mosquitoes this summer with so many areas affected by flooding,” said Dr. Lon Kightlinger, State Epidemiologist for the South Dakota Department of Health. “West Nile has already been detected in mosquitoes in neighboring states (Iowa and North Dakota) and the peak transmission period for the virus is approaching so now is the time to get in the habit of using insect repellent .”
Peak WNV transmission season in South Dakota occurs from mid-July through mid-September.
Since 2002, South Dakota has reported more than 1,700 human cases of WNV, including 26 deaths. Detections have been reported in every county.
People can protect themselves from West Nile with these precautions:
  • Use mosquito repellent (DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535) and limit exposure by wearing appropriate clothes.
  • Limit time outdoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Screen all windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of the house.
  • Eliminate places where mosquitoes breed – get rid of old tires and other containers that accumulate water; regularly change water in bird baths and outside pet dishes; and drain water from flower pots and garden containers.
Precautions are especially important for those at high risk for WNV – elderly persons, pregnant women, diabetics, transplant patients, individuals with high blood pressure, and those with a history of alcohol abuse. People with severe or unusual headaches should see a physician.
For more information about West Nile, visit the Department of Health web, westnile.sd.gov or call 1-800-592-1861.
 
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(KYT’-ling-ur)