An adult in Central Maryland has been diagnosed with this year's first case of West Nile Virus, according to The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

The virus was also detected in a pool of mosquitoes collected in Montgomery County by the U.S. Department of Defense.

Most people with West Nile virus do not show symptoms. Those who do will have a fever, headache, body aches, skin rash and swollen lymph glands 3 to 15 days after a bite by an infected mosquito. People older than age 50 are most vulnerable.

DHMH offers these tips for protecting themselves:

  • Avoid areas with a lot of mosquitos
  • Avoid unnecessary outdoor activities at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active
  • Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts and hats when concerned about mosquito exposure 
  • Use an EPA-registered insect repellent

Residents should also monitor their yards and gardens for standing water that can serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

The number of human West Nile Virus cases hit 73 in the peak year of 2003. Twenty-three cases were reported in 2010, and 19 in 2011.