BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Maryland health officials are reporting the first confirmed case of West Nile Virus this year in the state and more cases are expected.
“Once we get that first one in August there often are additional human cases that follow that,” said Dr. Kimberly Mitchell, with the Maryland Department of Health
Last year the state reported 46 West Nile cases, compared to 47 in 2012. West Nile spiked back in 2003 with 73 people falling ill.
It’s another mosquito-borne illness sounding the alarm in Florida.
Students are being given protective clothing as the state confirms 37-locally acquired Zika infections in Miami beach and Wynwood. A travel warning has been issued for pregnant women as the virus can cause birth defects.
“The Wynwood travel ban was the first time that the CDC has ever issued a travel advisory of this nature in the continental united states,” said Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.
Here in Maryland, there are 64 confirmed cases of Zika, all of them travel-related. No Maryland mosquitoes have tested positive for Zika.
“There is regular mosquito trapping in various communities around Maryland and there is adulticiding and larvacide spraying,’ said Dr. Mitchell.
The state has stepped up mosquito control efforts this year including in north Baltimore.
More than 1,400 people here in Maryland have been tested for Zika virus.
Health officials say mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus are more prevalent during the day versus West Nile mosquitoes– that are more frequently seen at dusk and dawn.