Health Department awards grants for mosquito control to local communities

PIERRE – More than 200 South Dakota cities, counties and tribes will share in $499,767 in grants intended to control mosquitoes and prevent West Nile virus (WNV), the Department of Health announced recently.

“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,” said Bill Chalcraft, administrator of public health preparedness and response for the Department of Health. 

All applying communities received funding, with grants ranging from $300 to $20,000. Grant awards were based on the population of the applying jurisdiction and its history of human WNV cases through 2017. 

Since its first human WNV case in 2002, the state has reported 2,432 human cases, including 778 hospitalizations and 42 deaths. Every county has reported cases. This season South Dakota reported its first human WNV case in a blood donor from Todd County earlier this month. 

Including this latest round of grants, the state has provided local mosquito control programs with more than $7.5 million in support, in either direct grant funding or control chemicals, since the virus emerged in South Dakota.

Letcher received $2,502 while Woonsocket received $2,500. 

Visit westnile.sd.gov for prevention information and surveillance updates.

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