Health Department reminds people to take precautions against mosquitoes to prevent West Nile and other mosquito-borne diseases.
LARGO, MD – The Prince George’s County Health Department has confirmed the county’s first and locally acquired human case of the West Nile virus of the 2018 season. It’s reported the person showed symptoms last month. Lab results later identified the West Nile virus as the cause. The person is currently under medical care.
In 2017, there were six reported cases of the West Nile virus in Maryland with no fatalities. None of the reported cases were in Prince George’s County. The county works with the state to routinely track and respond to mosquito-borne infections.
The West Nile virus is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. The virus cannot be transmitted from one person to another or from birds to people. The virus affects the nervous system. Most individuals infected with West Nile will not have any symptoms, however some people may experience:
- Body Aches
- Swollen Lymph Glands
While West Nile is the most common virus spread by mosquitoes in the United States, bites from an infected Aedes species of mosquitoes spread the Zika virus, as well as dengue and chikungunya viruses.
The Prince George’s County Health Department reminds residents to follow the three D’s to keep mosquitoes away:
Drain: Standing water attracts mosquitoes. Empty out any outside water containers near your home at least once per week
Dress: Dark clothing attracts mosquitoes. Wear long sleeves, long pants, and light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
Defend: Properly apply an EPA-registered repellent such as DEET, picaridin, IR 3535, or oil of lemon-eucalyptus.
Here are some helpful links with more information about mosquito protection, the West Nile virus, and the Zika virus:
The Prince George’s County Health Department
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)