West Nile virus detected in Anne Arundel County

Mosquitoes in Anne Arundel County tested positive for West Nile virus earlier this month, according to the Anne Arundel County Department of Health. 

The mosquitoes that tested positive for West Nile were found on August 1 along Telegraph Rd and Donaldson Ave in Severn. No human cases of West Nile virus have been reported in Anne Arundel County. 

The Maryland Department of Agriculture will spray a permethrin-based solution in the area where the mosquitos were found on August 13 after 7:30 p.m. While the solution is approved by the EPA and doesn't pose a risk to human health, officials recommend avoiding outdoor activities during spraying. 

How is West Nile virus spread? 

West Nile virus is spread when a mosquito feeds on a bird with West Nile virus, and it then bites humans and other animals. Warm weather and high humidity – the kind of weather we've been having lately – provide the perfect condition for mosquitos to spread West Nile virus. 

What are the symptoms of West Nile virus? 

Most people exposed to the virus don't get sick. But about 20% of people develop symptoms like headache, fever, muscle and joint aches, nausea and fatigue. 

How to reduce the risk of West Nile virus? 

The Department of Health says Maryland residents should protect themselves from mosquito bites – and mosquito-borne diseases like West Nile virus. 

Here's their recommendations:

  • Minimize time spent outdoors between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Be sure door and window screens are tight-fitting and in good repair.
  • Wear long sleeves and pants. Create a barrier to mosquito bites by covering up.
  • Remove standing water. Emptying out water that collects in toys, tires, trash cans, buckets, clogged rain gutters and plant pots will prevent mosquitoes a place to lay their eggs and reproduce.
  • Keep all swimming pools chlorinated and filtered. Backyard ponds should include fish to control mosquito larvae.
  • Consider using EPA-registered repellent such as those containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol or 2-undecanone.
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in an unscreened structure and to protect infants when outdoors.