The South Dakota Department of Health (DOH) is offering 218 cities, towns, counties and tribes a portion of $500,000 total in grant funding to support mosquito control programs in an effort to prevent West Nile Virus (WNV) infections.
Since it’s first case in 2001, the state has reported 2,601 human cases and 46 deaths.
South Dakota has a disproportionately high number of WNV cases when compared to other states. Local mosquito control efforts play a vital role in protecting our communities,” Bill Chalcraft, administrator of public health preparedness and response for the Department of Health, told KSFY last month.
All communities that applied received funding, with grants ranging from $500 to $20,000. Awards were based on the population of the applying jurisdiction, and its history of human WNV cases, according to DOH. West Nile virus can cause febrile illness, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord).
South Dakota has provided more than $8 million to local mosquito control programs.
DOH makes the following recommendations to reduce mosquito populations to South Dakota residents :
- Remove all discarded tires on your property. Used tires have become an important source of mosquito breeding in the nation.
- Drill holes in the bottoms of recycling containers that are kept outdoors.
- Make sure roof gutters drain properly, and clean clogged gutters in the spring and fall.
- Turn over plastic wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use.
- Change the water in birdbaths.
- Clean vegetation and debris from edges of ponds.
- Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs.
- Drain water from pool covers.
- Use landscaping to eliminate standing water that collects on your property.
Watch the state’s PSA:
Explore our previous coverage of mosquito control: