Worcester County Warns of West Nile Virus Risk - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Worcester County Warns of West Nile Virus Risk

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(Photo: MGN) (Photo: MGN)

SNOW HILL, Md.- Worcester County Health Department officials said Wednesday that they have received notification that a single sample of mosquitoes from the Ocean Pines area have tested positive for the West Nile virus. This is the first West Nile virus positive mosquito sample for the county this year, officials said.

West Nile virus was first identified in the county in 2003, according to officials.

West Nile virus is most common during the summer and fall months. The virus is transmitted by infected mosquitoes and spread to humans, birds, horses and other animals. Officials said that since mosquitoes can breed in as little as a quarter inch of water, the recent rain may attract more mosquitoes.

Officials are offering the following tips to help prevent contact with mosquitoes and reduce risk of infection by the West Nile virus:

  • Stay indoors at dawn and dusk.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors.
  • Use an EPA-registered insect repellant and follow package instructions.
  • Get rid of mosquito breeding sites.
  • Remove all discarded tires from property.
  • Dispose of water-holding containers.
  • Change the water in pet dishes and replace the water in bird baths weekly.
  • Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out.
  • Keep children's wading pools empty and on their sides when they are not in use.

Officials noted that most people infected with West Nile virus will show no symptoms; however, some people may have mild to severe symptoms that may include swollen lymph glands, a rash, fever, headache, disorientation and others. The easiest and best way to avoid this virus is to prevent mosquito bites.

For more tips and information about West Nile virus, visit http://worcesterhealth.org.

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