ABERDEEN, S.D.(KOKK)- With that other virus that has taken the headlines, its easy to forget that this time of the year has been a problem for West Nile virus in years past. Its important to note with the dryer conditions and fewer mosquitoes this year, West Nile concerns have not gone away. For the past 9 summers, students at Northern State University in Aberdeen have collaborated with the South Dakota Department of Health on a project aimed at identifying and studying mosquitoes that can carry the West Nile virus. According to Northern State University associate professor of bio chemistry Dr. Jon Mitchell its important to know that west nile is still around and has an impact.
Mitchell said if it seemed like mosquito numbers were down earlier this summer you were not incorrect.
The research project gives NSU undergraduate students a chance to be involved in a reasearch project that those attending larger universities sometimes do not get. NSU student Jessica Stockert of Belle Fourche talks about her experience on the project.
Dr. Mitchell said they use microscopes to identify the culex tarsalis but it is possible to verify with the naked eye.
As of the last of July two positive quantitative samples have some back positive for west nile virus. So keep your repellent handy and limit outdoor activities to early mornings and evening to avoid getting bitten.