Insect repellent can prevent West Nile virus, SD official saysPIERRE — South Dakotans can do their part to prevent West Nile virus by getting in the habit of using insect repellent, says a state health official.
By: News release, SD Department of Health
PIERRE — South Dakotans can do their part to prevent West Nile virus by getting in the habit of using insect repellent, says a state health official.
“West Nile virus might seem less of a concern now that South Dakota has 10 years’ experience with it, but it would be a mistake to think the virus isn’t a threat,” said Dr. Lon Kightlinger, state epidemiologist for the South Dakota Department of Health. “West Nile virus can be a serious, even fatal, illness.”
South Dakota has reported 1,759 cases, including 26 deaths, since its first case in 2002. There have been cases in every county.
To prevent mosquito bites and reduce the risk of WNV, the Department of Health recommends the following steps:
• Use mosquito repellents (DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535) and limit exposure by covering up.
• Limit time outdoors from dusk to midnight when Culex mosquitoes are most active.
• Get rid of standing water that gives mosquitoes a place to breed.
• Support local mosquito control efforts.
Personal precautions are especially important for those at high risk for WNV — people over 50, pregnant women, transplant patients, individuals with diabetes or high blood pressure, and those with a history of alcohol abuse.
Learn more about WNV prevention at westnile.sd.gov.