HURON – While the state is beyond the peak of transmission of the West Nile virus, health officials continue to encourage people to protect themselves from mosquitoes because cases are expected to occur well into the month of August.
“Mosquito infection rates have continued to to rise, but have not risen faster than expected for this point in the year, said Dr. Joshua Clayton, the state’s epidemiologist.
He said he expects that about nine counties will report at least one human case this week, placing South Dakota slightly above the numbers from 2017, which was an average year for the virus.
The latest spraying in Huron was done Wednesday night.
Parks and Recreation Director Ron Klock said the highest percentage of Culex Tarsalis (virus carriers) so far this year were in the counts done before the latest citywide spraying.
“Overall on the total mosquito counts for the six traps, we were at 63 percent Culex Tarsalis collected and counted as of Aug. 7,” he said.
The series of spraying efforts this summer has proven to be effective in sharply reducing the mosquito population in Huron. History shows that now through the middle of next week is the time of greatest risk of West Nile virus transmission to humans.
Statewide as of Wednesday, Clayton said there have been 27 human cases of the virus. They are in the counties of Brown, Buffalo, Charles Mix, Day, Dewey, Edmunds, Faulk, Hanson, Hughes, Hyde, Lincoln, Marshall, Minnehaha, Pennington, Potter, Roberts, Spink, Tripp, Walworth and Yankton.
Viremic blood donors now number 11, up one from a week ago. They are located in Brown, Faulk, Hand, Lawrence, Minnehaha, Pennington, Potter, Spink, Todd and Tripp counties.
Beadle County is now one of eight counties with mosquito detections, meaning that of the Culex Tarsalis mosquitoes, the city of Huron has collected and sent to Pierre some were positive for West Nile.
The other counties are Brookings, Brown, Davison, Hughes, Lincoln, Minnehaha and Stanley. It is up from five counties a week ago.
Nationally, 24 states have reported West Nile virus human cases. Of 106 total cases there have been four deaths.