imageWest Nile Virus  (WNV) is Active in South Dakota - A single mosquito bite can transmit the virus.

Prevention is Key - There are no medications to treat or vaccines to prevent West Nile infection.

Families need to protect against WNV until a hard freeze occurs.

  • South Dakota has a higher incidence of West Nile virus than any other state.
  • About 20% of individuals who are infected go on to develop a fever and other symptoms.
  • You can reduce your risk by limiting outdoor activity from dusk to dawn, using insect repellent and wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants to prevent mosquito bites.

WNV and Children - Most children who get West Nile virus (WNV) have only mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. Symptoms may include fever, headaches, body aches, nausea, vomiting or skin rash. In a very small number of infected children, the illness can become severe and involve the brain (West Nile Virus encephalitis or meningitis). Symptoms involving the brain include high fever, stiff neck, severe headaches, muscle weakness, mental confusion, tremors, vision problems, convulsions, paralysis, and loss of consciousness.  If your child experiences any symptoms that are associated with a severe West Nile virus infection, such as high fever, severe headaches, and a stiff neck, contact your doctor.


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      Protect Against Mosquito Bites

  • Make sure all windows and doors have screens, and that they are in good repair.
  • Limit time outdoors from dusk to midnight when Culex mosquitoes, the primary carrier of WNV in South Dakota, are most active.
  • Wear shoes, socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors for long periods of time, or when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Use mosquito repellent containing DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535, according to directions, when outdoors. Spray thin clothing with repellent because mosquitoes can bite through it.
    • Some repellents are for application to skin only, some for clothing only, and others are for both skin and clothing. Read the label for proper application.
    • The Centers for Disease Control guidelines state that pregnant women are not excluded from using EPA-registered repellents.
    • The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that repellents used on children contain no more than 10 percent DEET, the active ingredient in many mosquito repellents.

      Reduce mosquitoes around your home and neighborhood

  • Get rid of standing water that gives mosquitoes a place to breed. During warm weather, mosquitoes can develop in any puddle of water. 
    • Drain wheelbarrows, boats, cargo trailers, pet dishes, toys, saucers underneath flower pots, and ceramic pots.
    • Do not allow water to stagnate in birdbaths, ornamental pools, water gardens, and swimming pools or their covers. Swimming pools should be cleaned and chlorinated when not in use.
    • Check leaky outdoor faucets, window wells and clogged roof gutters.  Fallen leaves and other organic debris indirectly provide food for mosquito larvae.
    • Larvicides are highly effective in controlling immature mosquitoes and should be considered when standing water cannot be eliminated.
  • Use the proper type of light outside: incandescent lights attract mosquitoes, whereas fluorescent lights neither attract nor repel mosquitoes.

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Use this easy tool to get personalized health recommendations for yourself or a family member, learn when your child or teen should have well-child visits or immunizations, get helpful tips and resources about parenting, healthy living and keeping children safe, and much more.

Delta Dental Dakota Smiles Mobile Dental Program

The primary mission of the Dakota Smiles Mobile Dental Program is to treat children ages 0-21.  The Dakota Smiles program is designed to assist people who do not have access to care and who do not have a dental home (children who have not seen a dentist for two years or live more than 85 miles from a dentist). No child will be turned away for inability to pay for services.  The Dakota Smiles Mobile Dental Program includes two trucks that are fully equipped dental offices on wheels. Services provided include: diagnostic and preventive procedures, restorative procedures and tooth extractions.

Thanks to the South Dakota families of children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN) that completed the survey!

Conclusion:  Parents in South Dakota are encountering many access, coverage and payment issues, and expressed frustration with the lack of available assistance based on survey results. Many survey respondents were parents of children with special health care needs, and several reported that they were unable to obtain recommended care due to issues coordinating care and unmanageable out-of-pocket expenses. There are opportunities to make meaningful improvements in the health care of maternal and child health populations in the state.

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The contents of this website were developed under grants from the U.S. Department of Education Project Grant H328M140021; Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Grant H84MC07994, Family to Family Health Information Center, $96,750 and approximately 5% financed with non-governmental resources. The contents should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by US Department of Education, HRSA, HHS or the Federal Government.