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West Nile prevention funding available

PIERRE -- South Dakota cities, counties and tribes can apply for $500,000 in grant funding to help control mosquitoes and prevent West Nile virus, the Department of Health announced Friday.

Gov. Dennis Daugaard's budget recommended the funding and it was included in the final appropriations bill passed by the 2014 Legislature.

Grant awards could range from $500 to $30,000 and will be based on the population of the applying jurisdiction and its number of human West Nile virus cases through 2013. Communities willing to participate in enhanced mosquito trapping and surveillance may be eligible for additional funding.

Prior to West Nile's emergence in the state, just eight communities reported having mosquito control programs. Now more than 80 percent of municipalities report having some type of control program in place. Since WNV emerged in South Dakota, the department has provided these programs with more than $4.6 million in support, in either direct grant funding or control chemicals.

More than 2,100 South Dakotans have had WNV since the state's first human case in 2002 and 32 have died from the disease. Every county has reported cases.

Grant applications are available on the department's WNV website, http://westnile.sd.gov, and are due June 8. Awards will be issued after July 1.

-- Source: South Dakota Department of Health

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