West Nile Virus Detected in Maryland Residents

BALTIMORE (August 23, 2013) – The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) today announced that three West Nile Virus (WNV) cases have been confirmed. These are the first confirmed cases of WNV in Maryland in 2013. All three infected individuals are adults who live in the Baltimore Metropolitan Area. West Nile virus has also been detected in mosquito pools collected in Montgomery County and Worcester County. A mosquito pool is a group of mosquitoes collected at one of several trap sites across the State.

“This is the time of year we see West Nile virus cases in Maryland," said DHMH Secretary Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein. "Our first confirmed cases of the season should serve as a reminder for all Maryland residents to take the basic steps that can reduce the risk of getting infected."

Measures people can take to protect themselves include:
  • Avoid areas of high mosquito activity
  • Avoid unnecessary outdoor activities at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active
  • Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts and hats when concerned about mosquito exposure
  • Use an EPA-registered insect repellent according to package directions

Most individuals infected with WNV will not have any symptoms. People that do develop illness will usually have any combination of fever, headache, body aches, skin rash and swollen lymph glands. These symptoms generally appear two to 14 days following the bite of an infected mosquito. Less than one percent of persons exposed to the virus will develop more severe infections, with symptoms such as headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness and paralysis. In rare instances, WNV can be fatal. Persons over 50 years of age have the highest risk of developing more severe disease. People who are immunocompromised may also be at high risk of WNV infection.

Residents are urged to monitor their own yards and gardens for standing water that can serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Small amounts of water in a discarded can or container will support dozens of mosquitoes. To eliminate mosquito-breeding areas:
  • Clean rain gutters to allow water to flow freely
  • Remove old tires or drill drainage holes in tires used as playground equipment
  • Turn over wading pools, wheelbarrows, wagons and carts when not in use. Flush water from bottom of plant holders twice a week
  • Replace water in birdbaths at least twice a week
  • Turn garbage can lids upside down and make sure trash receptacles are empty of water
  • Fix dripping faucets
  • Aerate ornamental pools and water gardens or stock with fish and use a circulating filter system

The Maryland Department of Agriculture will spray in the participating communities that fall within a mile radius of where the person resides and in the area where the case occurred, and continue routine spray operations in all other participating communities.

Although birds are not routinely tested for WNV in Maryland, sick or injured birds can be reported to an appropriate local wildlife rehabilitator. Residents can call 1-877-463-6497 for a list of licensed rehabilitators or visit the Maryland Department of Natural Resources web site at http://www.dnr.state.md.us/wildlife/rehab.asp . Detailed instructions on what to do when you find a sick or dead bird can be found at http://phpa.dhmh.maryland.gov/OIDEOR/CZVBD/SitePages/west-nile.aspx .

The number of human WNV cases in Maryland has varied over the past several years. In 2003, the peak year, 73 human WNV cases were reported statewide. The number of human cases declined for several years afterward, ranging between one and 23 cases from 2004 through 2011. However, health officials documented significant increases in human WNV cases in 2012, with 47 cases reported in Maryland and more than 5,600 cases reported nationwide.

Following today’s announcement of the first confirmed cases, DHMH will provide weekly updates on its website. For each confirmed case, DHMH will release whether the infected individual is a child or an adult, and the region of the state where it occurs. The three cases announced today will be reflected in the report posted on Wednesday, August 28. The reports will be available each Wednesday at http://phpa.dhmh.maryland.gov/OIDEOR/CZVBD/SitePages/west-nile.aspx.

For additional information on West Nile virus, visit:
  • Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene: http://phpa.dhmh.maryland.gov/OIDEOR/CZVBD/SitePages/west-nile.aspx
  • Maryland Department of Agriculture: http://mda.maryland.gov/plants-pests/Pages/mosquito_control.aspx
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/westnile/index.html
###

Stay connected: www.twitter.com/MarylandDHMH or www.facebook.com/MarylandDHMH
 
 

Substance Abuse Help

 

Zika Information

 

Rabies Information


     

WCHD News

Worcester Health offering Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program

Nutrition and fitness-based diabetes prevention classes start in October

Snow Hill, MD- Small changes often lead to major results and Worcester County Health Department’s Lifestyle Balance: Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program (MDPP) aims to help residents eat healthy, be active and lower their risk for type 2 diabetes with easy-to-follow tips and tools.

Read more ...

Worcester Health partners with Ocean City Fire Department on “Safe Station” project
Station offers 24/7 access to recovery services

Ocean City, MD- Where would you go if you needed help with addiction right now? The Worcester County Health Department, in partnership with the Town of Ocean City Fire Department, has launched a “Safe Station” in Ocean City at the 15th Street Fire Station for those seeking immediate help getting into recovery. The station is open 24-hours a day, 7 days a week for any individuals seeking treatment services.

Read more ... Due to inclement weather, the Just Walk Making Strides event scheduled for today is rescheduled for 5-6 p.m. on October 18 at Byrd Park in Snow Hill. For more information, please call 410-632-0056.  Read more ... Maryland’s Minority Health office nets $1 million grant, largest in its history. Funds from U.S. HHS to boost healthcare access in Prince George’s County.
 
Baltimore, MD (September 16, 2015) – The Maryland Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities (MHHD) has received its largest grant since its establishment in 2004. MHHD received a five-year grant award totaling $1million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health’s State Partnership Grant Program to Improve Minority Health.   Read more ...
Residents are reminded to take precautions to reduce risk during summer, fall
 
Baltimore, MD (August 18, 2015) – The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) today is announcing the first confirmed and locally acquired case of West Nile Virus (WNV) in Maryland this year. The infected individual is an adult who lives in the Baltimore Metropolitan region. In addition, WNV also has been detected in mosquito pools collected in Anne Arundel and Prince George’s counties. A mosquito pool is a group of mosquitoes collected at one of several trap sites across the state.
Read more ...
 Lower Shore Health Insurance Assistance Program