By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

Maryland health officials today confirmed the first case of West Nile Virus (WNV) in Maryland this year. The infected individual is an adult living in the National Capital Region in Maryland.


The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) reminds residents there are simple steps to reduce the risk of getting infected. Protective measures include:

  • Avoiding areas of high mosquito activity.
  • Wearing long pants, long-sleeved shirts and hats when outdoors.
  • Using an EPA-registered insect repellent according to package directions.

Most individuals (4 out of 5) infected with WNV 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. These symptoms generally appear 2 to 14 days following the bite of an infected mosquito. Fewer than 1 percent of people 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.

People 60 years of age and older have the greatest risk of developing severe disease. People with compromised immune systems also may be at high risk of WNV infection. In rare instances, WNV can be fatal.

Nationally, the CDC reports 326 human WNV cases, including 15 deaths through Sept. 4.