West Nile Virus
- Last Updated: 8.22.16
For information on unscheduled mosquito spraying due to West Nile virus activity in Anne Arundel County, click here.
West Nile virus is carried by mosquitoes. It affects the nervous system. To see the 2013 Maryland West Nile Virus Surveillance for mosquito pools, birds, horses and humans, click here. (PDF) Nine human cases of West Nile virus were reported in Anne Arundel County in 2012. Five human cases of West Nile virus were reported in Anne Arundel County in 2011, and three in 2010. In 2009 and 2008, there were no confirmed human cases of West Nile virus in Anne Arundel County. In 2007, there were two confirmed human cases.
Individuals are encouraged to take measures to avoid mosquito bites (Tips to Avoid Mosquito Bites) and to rid their yards of standing water where mosquitoes may breed. Dead bird collection was discontinued in Maryland in 2003. To dispose of a dead bird, avoid bare-handed contact. Use gloves or an inverted plastic bag to place the bird carcass in a garbage bag and dispose of it with your routine trash.
Frequently Asked Questions About West Nile Virus
What are the symptoms of infection?
Most individuals infected with West Nile virus will not have any symptoms or signs of illness. People who do develop illness may experience symptoms that seem like a mild flu. These symptoms may include a low fever, headache, body aches, skin rash and swollen lymph glands. Symptoms generally appear 3 - 14 days following the bite of an infected mosquito.
Who is most vulnerable to more serious effects?
People 50 years of age and older have the highest risk of developing the more severe disease with symptoms such as high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, convulsions, paralysis and, rarely, death.
What can I do to reduce my risk?
Avoid areas with mosquitoes. When outdoors, wear long pants and long-sleeved clothing and spray arms and legs with an insect repellent. See repellent recommendations. Eliminate any standing water around your home where mosquitoes may breed. Repair any damaged window screens.
What agency provides community spraying?
Within its resource limits, the Maryland Department of Agriculture provides spraying and community mosquito control services. For more information about mosquito control and newly scheduled spraying activities, visit the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) website. See MDA Spraying Program Community List (PDF). County residents interested in mosquito control services in their communities should call MDA at 410-841-5870. Also see Tips to Rid Your Community of Mosquito Breeding Sites.
How do I report complaints about standing water in my neighborhood?
To report complaints about standing water, call the Anne Arundel County Department of Health at 410-222-7364 or Contact Us. Standing water complaints related to residential swimming pools and ponds are usually handled from May 1 through October 31.