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1st human case of West Nile this year confirmed in Maryland

August 25, 2021 GMT

BALTIMORE (AP) — Maryland health officials announced Wednesday that they have confirmed the first human case of West Nile Virus in the state this year.

An adult living in the Baltimore metropolitan area tested positive for the virus, the Department of Health said. The virus is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes infected by feeding on birds with the virus. The virus may be spread in rare cases from person to person through organ donation, blood transfusion, breastfeeding, or from pregnant mother to fetus.

Up to 80 percent of people who are infected will not display any signs of illness at all but those with underlying health conditions could become seriously ill.

While most people do not develop symptoms from this virus, some people who develop illness may experience mild symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, a skin rash or swollen lymph glands. These symptoms may last a few days or as long as several weeks.

Although birds are not routinely tested for West Nile virus in Maryland, sick or injured birds can be reported to an appropriate local wildlife rehabilitator.