PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – South Dakota officials say a Hughes County resident has died of West Nile virus encephalitis, the first death related to West Nile reported in the state since 2007.
The Health Department reports that a person aged 80-89 died of the disease spread by mosquitos.
State Epidemiologist Lon Kightlinger says the death is a reminder that people older than 50 are at higher risk of developing West Nile complications.
The Health Department recommends that people reduce the risk of West Nile disease by using mosquito repellent, limiting time outdoors between dusk and midnight, and getting rid of standing water that gives mosquitos a place to breed.
Since South Dakota reported its first case in 2002, the state has had more than 1,700 West Nile cases and 27 deaths.
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