A death related to the West Nile Virus has been reported in Yankton, South Dakota. The state has had 79 cases so far this year, double the 40 cases of last year. Unlike last year, 8 cases have been in our Siouxland counties. The last West Nile death was in 2013.
Despite an increase in cases, Siouxland District Health Deputy Director says 80 percent of those infected don’t see any symptoms and death is rare.
“It is rare. The vast majority of people who get infected with West Nile Virus have very mild to no symptoms at all…A lot of the cases that get reported are the people who are quite sick; with some of the mild symptoms, people don’t always go to the doctor for those things” says Tyler Brock, Deputy Director, Siouxland District Health.
Brock says 1 out of every 150 people see severe symptoms from West Nile, most often the elderly and infants who are most vulnerable.
Iowa has had a calm West Nile season with only 2 human cases reported. 14 were reported in 2015.
“South Dakota has gotten hit pretty hard, here in Iowa we’ve only had a couple of cases” says Tyler Brock, Deputy Director, Siouxland District Health.
According to South Dakota State University in partnership with the South Dakota Department of Health….
7 to 17 counties are expected to report West Nile cases this week, that’s nearly 20 percent of the state.
But as we get into the fourth out of fifth week of the West Nile season and temperatures continue to cool, the risk is expected to decline. Experts predict South Dakota will round out the season with 90 cases, currently there are 79.
Brock says West Nile is a greater concern than Zika for our area. To prevent from both, wear insect repellant, wear long sleeves and pants when you can, and be cautious of any standing water.