SD Has Only 2 West Nile Cases This Year
by Associated Press
November 11, 2011 8:03 AM
The West Nile virus had little bite this year in South Dakota, a state that once led the nation in the number of deaths from the virus. Officials caution against complacency, however.
There were only two West Nile cases confirmed in people in the state this year. State Epidemiologist Lon Kightlinger said that's down more than 1,000 cases from 2003.
Kightlinger said over time, people and animals have built up immunity to the virus. The state also has a public awareness campaign that encourages people to protect themselves against mosquitoes, which transmit the virus.
South Dakota State University parasitologist Mike Hildreth said he thinks the virus isn't going away, though. He says it's just a matter of time before it re-emerges.