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SD has first West Nile virus death of the year

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news Mitchell, 57301
Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

PIERRE (AP) — South Dakota has its first West Nile virus death of the year.

The state Health Department says the Turner County resident was between 70 and 79 years old. Officials did not identify the person, citing patient confidentiality.

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South Dakota has had 52 confirmed human cases of West Nile so far this year. Since 2002 the state has reported more than 2,000 cases, with 30 deaths, including three last year and the one this year.

State Epidemiologist Lon Kightlinger says people should protect themselves from virus-carrying mosquitoes through measures such as using insect repellents and eliminating standing water where the bugs can breed.

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