Alert: Mosquitoes in Maryland Test Positive for West Nile Virus
Recently, mosquitoes in Maryland have tested positive for the West Nile Virus. The mosquitoes that tested positive were found at Highpoint Trail and Overlook Way and Oxford Drive and Northlake Court in Laurel, Maryland. The Maryland Department of Agriculture plans to spray in those areas in the hopes of getting rid of the mosquitoes.
What is West Nile Virus?
West Nile Virus is spread to humans and other animals if they're bitten by an infected mosquito. Most people don't develop symptoms from the virus, but about 20% of people might experience symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, a skin rash, nausea, fatigue or swollen lymph glands. Symptoms can last a few days or as long as several weeks.
How to Protect Yourself
Here are some steps you can take to protect yourself from mosquito bites and reduce your risk of contracting West Nile Virus:
- Remove any standing water. Emptying out water that collects in toys, tires, trash cans, buckets, clogged rain gutters and plant pots will prevent mosquitoes from having a place to lay their eggs and reproduce.
- Use EPA-registered insect repellent that has one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus.
- Wear loose-fitting long sleeves and pants, which create a barrier to mosquitoes.
- Minimize time spent outdoors between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
- Be sure door and window screens are tight-fitting and in good repair.
- Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in an unscreened structure and to protect infants when outdoors.
- Keep all swimming pools chlorinated and filtered. Backyard ponds should include fish to control mosquito larvae.
There is no specific treatment for West Nile virus infection. Rest, fluids, and over-the-counter pain medications may relieve some symptoms. In severe cases, patients often need to be hospitalized to receive supportive treatment, such as intravenous fluids, pain medication, and nursing care.
Stay safe and take precautions to protect yourself from mosquito bites! 😊
Source: Conversation with Bing, 8/17/2023
Image sourced from Department of Public Health