Published: Sat, August 04, 2018
Health Care | By Gwendolyn Kim

West Nile virus infection reported in Fairfax County

West Nile virus infection reported in Fairfax County

Officials with the Maryland Department of Health said in a statement that the infected person lives in the Baltimore region.

The child experienced neurological symptoms and was hospitalized.

The agency didn't release any specific details on the case, but said the virus has been confirmed in mosquitoes throughout the county.

The disease is most commonly transmitted to humans through a mosquito bite.

Mosquitoes with West Nile virus have been found in Louisville. The increase, officials said, is widespread across the county and has happened earlier this summer, compared with previous years.

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Between 2013 and 2015, there were no reported human cases with only single cases reported in 2016 and 2017.

The number of confirmed infections can vary from year to year. There were no reported cases of West Nile in the county previous year.

In Maryland, there were five reported cases of West Nile a year ago, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The health department operates a mosquito control program and checks traps set in the community to test for diseases like West Nile, Zika and St. Louis Encephalitis. About 20% of people develop fever, headache, vomiting or a rash. People with weak immune systems or older than 60 are more at risk of the falling ill to the infection. Anyone who thinks they may be infected should see a doctor immediately, officials said.

Since mosquitoes are attracted to standing water, residents are also advised to clean or empty out items that may hold water such as old tires, buckets, planters, toys, birdbaths, flowerpots, tarps, trash containers, downspout extensions and other containers to stop mosquitoes from breeding on your property.

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