Maryland Department of Health confirms first case of West Nile Virus in state this year

Maryland

In rare instances, West Nile Virus can be fatal.

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM)– On Tuesday the Maryland Department of Health confirmed the first case of West Nile Virus in Maryland this year.

According to MDH, the number of human West Nile Virus cases in Maryland has varied greatly from year to year. In 2003, there were 73 cases. In 2012, there were 47 cases; in 2015 – 46 cases; and in 2018 – 45 cases.

4 out of 5 individuals infected will not have any symptoms. People who do develop illness usually will have any combination of fever, headache, body aches, skin rash, vomiting, or diarrhea. In rare instances, West Nile Virus can be fatal.

“This is an illness that has been with us here in Maryland since 2001. We get cases every year. We get cases across the entire country. People need to be aware of it, its a very low risk, but still a risk that can be avoided,” said Rod Macrae with the Washington County Health Department.

The best way to avoid being bit by mosquitoes is to use insect repellent and to eliminate breeding areas, like stagnant water, from your property.

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