Prince George's County officials confirm first human case of West Nile Virus in 2018

Mosquito (File Image)

On Wednesday, officials at the Prince George's County Health Department confirmed the county's first human case of West Nile Virus of the 2018 season.

Health officials say the person first showed symptoms in July and lab results confirmed West Nile Virus to be the cause.

The person is currently receiving medial care, officials say.

Last year, there were six reported cases of the virus in Maryland with no reported fatalities. None of the cases in 2017 were reported in Prince George's County.

Health officials released the following information on the virus:

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
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Rash
  • Swollen Lymph Glands
  • Vomiting

While West Nile is the most common virus spread by mosquitoes in the United States, bites from 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)

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