HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM)– West Nile Virus is the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the United States and mosquito season starts during the summer and continues into the fall.
West Nile Virus is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has reported every year more than 1.5 million people around the globe lose their lives due to mosquito-borne diseases.
“Nationally over the past few years we have had about 100,000 deaths each year from West Nile,” said Rod MacRae, public information officer with the Washington County Health Department.
People who do develop the illness may experience mild symptoms such as fever, headache, and body aches; and sometimes a skin rash or swollen lymph glands. Most individuals infected will not show signs nor symptoms of illness.
“We’ve even seen places where chip bags collect rain water, and if it collects rain water for three days mosquitoes can bread,” said Alex Reed, Washington County Watershed Specialist.
Cans, tires, buckets, and other sources of litter that hold water are places mosquitoes can lay eggs.
“The life cycle of an egg is three days so you only need water standing for three days,” said Reed.
Tips to avoid being bit by mosquitoes include- to wear long clothing, to use insect repellent, to avoid being outside at night and to eliminate stagnant water.