The Anne Arundel County Department of Health wants to remind residents to take precautions after six mosquito pools tested positive for West Nile Virus. The pools were identified in various parts of the county on July 27, 2023. The areas include Little Patuxent Watershed, Dorsey Run and Herald Harbor. At this time, no human cases have been reported in Anne Arundel County.
Most people exposed to the virus don’t get sick, but about 20 percent develop symptoms like headache, fever, muscle and joint aches, nausea and fatigue. The current warm weather and high humidity provides ideal conditions for mosquito activity and West Nile virus transmission. The Department of Health is reminding residents to protect themselves from mosquito bites and mosquito-borne diseases.
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.
The Maryland Department of Agriculture will spray a solution in the areas where the mosquitos pools were identified. The department’s Mosquito Control Program will use a permethrin-based solution that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved for use in public health mosquito control programs without posing unreasonable risks to human health. Out of an abundance of caution, the Maryland Department of Agriculture recommends avoiding outdoor activities during spraying.
Spraying is scheduled for Sunday, August 6, 2023 near the areas where the mosquitos pools were identified. Questions about spraying should be directed to the Maryland Department of Agriculture or call the Mosquito Control Program at 410-841-5870.
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 WNV to humans and other animals when they bite.