Mosquitoes in Maryland test positive for West Nile virus

Health officials in Maryland have issued a warning after mosquitoes tested positive for West Nile virus.

The infected mosquitoes were trapped in two parts of Anne Arundel County on July 11, authorities said, and some were also found in the Bowie area of Prince George’s County. 

So far, no human cases have been reported.

"For most people that get West Nile, they have zero symptoms. No symptoms at all," said Johns Hopkins University senior scholar and physician Dr. Amesh Adalja. 

Although he added that some people with West Nile experience flu-like symptoms. Adalja said there’s a small risk that people who are very young, very old, or immunocompromised could develop encephalitis or inflammation of the brain.

"That’s a very minority of the cases, but it’s what we worry about with West Nile," Adalja added.

To reduce the risk, officials said to "tip it and toss it," by keeping water moving in bird baths, emptying out containers or tires, and by cleaning gutters and drains. You can also minimize time outdoors between dusk and dawn, wear long sleeves and pants, and use repellent too.

"The bottom line is to be really cognizant of the fact that mosquitoes are positive for West Nile and you can take actions yourself to diminish your risk of getting West Nile or getting bit by a mosquito," Adalja said. 

The Maryland Department of Agriculture is currently spraying for mosquitoes as well, including in Prince George’s County Thursday night.