Prevent mosquito bites

The Baltimore Sun reported recently that an adult who lives in the region is the first person this season to contract West Nile virus in Maryland.

The Maryland Department of Health announced Monday that it was the first confirmed local case of the mosquito-borne disease, according to The Sun.

Fort Meade public health professionals say it is not surprising that the amount of mosquitoes in the area has increased as rain totals have increased the amount of standing water, which is a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

“Most often, West Nile virus is spread to people by infected mosquitoes,” said Karen Bartholet, public health nurse at Kimbrough Ambulatory Care Center.

Fort Meade’s public health professionals have expertise as it relates to WNV and humans, and in the preventive medicine area relating to mosquitoes.

Bartholet said that prevention is the best way to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites.

Here are some tips:

Use an EPA-registered insect repellent. For more information, go to

Wear long-sleeve shirts and long pants.

Place screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes from coming inside.

Prevent standing water in order to stop mosquitoes from laying eggs.

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