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Posted at 10:55 AM ET, 07/22/2010

West Nile virus found in Anne Arundel

By Washington Post editors

Maryland officials said mosquitoes collected from a pool in Anne Arundel County have tested positive for the West Nile Virus -- the first sign of the virus in Maryland this year.

The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene confirmed the presence of the virus Monday from a sample of mosquitoes collected July 13 in the Linthicum area. A routine spraying took place July 20 and a second spraying is scheduled for July 27.

“[The virus] typically appears at this time in the summer, so we are not surprised with this positive finding,” said Buddy Hance, Maryland's secretary of agriculture. “The confirmation of virus-positive mosquitoes serves as a reminder to all residents to continue protecting themselves against mosquito bites and to conduct backyard mosquito control activities in addition to MDA’s routine surveillance and spray activities.”

About 20 percent of people infected with WNV will develop West Nile fever. Symptoms of West Nile Fever include fever, headache and body aches, which can last for a few days or several week. Less than 1 percent of people bitten by a mosquito carrying West Nile virus will develop a more severe form of the disease. People most at risk for developing severe disease are those over 50 and those with compromised immune systems, though state officials urge all people to take precautions to prevent being bitten.

By Washington Post editors  | July 22, 2010; 10:55 AM ET
Categories:  Maryland  
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