We have begun collecting the pieces of data we'll use to make predictions of WNV in South Dakota in 2018. So far, all indicators point to an average year, but this means 40-80 cases reported, with many more infections that are never even diagnosed. Keep in mind that "average" still means considerable risk to our citizens, and deaths from infection are still likely. We do not yet have all the data we need to make accurate predictions, and will update our models as more weather and especially mosquito data are received.
Projected Cases for 2018
Based on all data available Sept. 11th, we expect to see 53 cases in SD in 2017. This is essentially unchanged from last week's prediction of 52 cases. This low number is due primarily to low mosquito infection rates in the early season, a long stretch of dry weather, and cold weather in late July, early August.
South Dakota State University has partnered with the South Dakota Department of Health to implement a program of West Nile virus (WNV) research that will support public health decision makers at the state level and mosquito control programs at the local level. Major activities include mosquito surveillance and testing for WNV, monitoring environmental risk factors using data from earth observing satellites, and using this information to predict the risk of WNV to humans across the state. This work is supported in part by a grant from the NASA Applied Sciences Public Health and Air Quality Program (NNX15AF74G).