BALTIMORE -- West Nile Virus has been detected in mosquitoes in Anne Arundel County, the health department announced Thursday.
The Anne Arundel County Department of Health said that mosquitoes trapped in two parts of the county on July 11 tested positive for the virus.
This is the first time West Nile virus-positive mosquitoes have been found in Anne Arundel County this year.
So far, no West Nile cases have been reported in people in the county.
Anne Arundel County residents are reacting to the discovery by taking precautions.
Anne Arundel County resident John Leeke said he plans to stay inside and be mindful of mosquitos when he leaves his home.
"You just have to protect yourself," Anne Arundel County resident Maargo DeMark said. "So, it's time to bring out the bug spray."
A solution will be sprayed in the areas where the mosquito pools were identified.
Then, a permethrin-based solution that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved for use will be used.
Out of an abundance of caution, the Maryland Department of Agriculture recommends avoiding outdoor activities during spraying.
Spraying is scheduled for Sunday, July 23 after 7:30 p.m. near the areas where the mosquito pools were identified, which includes near the intersection of Crain Highway and Davidsonville Road.
Communities in the affected area include Amberfield, Lake Louise and the Northwest Crofton Community District.
West Nile virus is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds. Infected mosquitoes can then spread West Nile Virus to humans and other animals when they bite.
Most people exposed to the virus don't get sick, but about 20% develop symptoms like headache, fever, muscle and joint aches, nausea and fatigue, according to the health department.
The health department added that the current warm weather and high humidity provide ideal conditions for mosquito activity and West Nile virus transmission.
To reduce the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes, residents should:
- 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.
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