Media Roundup: West Nile Virus Detected in Prince George's County Mosquitoes
Dr. Kimberly Mitchell (PhD in Behavioral and Community Health, '14), chief of the Division of Rabies and Vector-Borne Diseases at the Maryland State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, was interviewed by Fox45 News and WBALTV.com News on August 11, 2015 about the recent detection of West Nile Virus in mosquitoes tested in Prince George's County, Maryland. Dr. Mitchell said that while people shouldn't be overly concerned about the presence of West Nile virus, that it is important to drain areas of standing water that can breed mosquitoes, avoid being outdoors at prime mosquito hours during dusk and dawn, dress in long-sleeves and pants and use insect repellent on exposed skin when outside.
Even if exposed, most people won't feel any symptoms from West Nile Virus, but for less than 1 percent of the population, West Nile can be fatal. For about 20 percent of the population, some can contract what's known as West Nile fever, which has flu-like symptoms.
"It's characterized by fever, chills, aches (that), in most cases, resolve itself within a few weeks," Dr. Mitchell said.