MARYLAND (WJZ) — The West Nile virus claims its first life in Maryland this year and federal health officials warn this could be the worst summer ever for the disease.
Cases of the mosquito-borne disease are up 40 percent nationwide. In just the last week, 66 people have died.
Thirteen Marylanders have been infected. Nineteen cases were reported last year and 23 the year before in Maryland.
West Nile activity will likely continue through October.
Officials say an early spring and hot summer may be responsible. Mosquitoes get the virus from feeding on infected birds and spread it to people they bite. Symptoms include fever, headache and body aches. Most people get better in a few days.
Baltimore County has announced that the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) will spray Biomist 30-30 (with active ingredient permethrin) to control mosquitoes on Sept. 6 and 13 in Milford Mill after 7:30 p.m.
The MDA advises residents to stay indoors during the spraying.