West Nile Virus confirmed in Washington area adult

State health officials reported Thursday they have confirmed the first case of West Nile Virus in Maryland for the year.

The infected adult lives in the suburbs of Washington. The virus has also been detected in a Washington-area horse, and in special mosquito traps placed in Harford, Montgomery, Prince George's and Talbot counties.

Officials at the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said the human case was not unexpected – there were 16 reported cases last year.

But they reminded people to take precautions by avoiding areas where mosquitoes are prevalent, covering their skin with clothes and hats, using insect repellent, and if possible, avoiding outdoor activities during mosquitoes' most active times at dusk and dawn.

West Nile Virus is rarely fatal but can cause fever, head and body aches, rashes and swollen lymph glands two to 14 days after an infected mosquito bites.

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