Arlington reports first case of West Nile virus this year

Symptoms of West Nile virus include fever, headache, body aches, a skin rash and swollen lymph glands. Symptoms usually appear two to 14 days after being bit by an infected mosquito. (Thinkstock)

WASHINGTON — With summer winding down, Arlington County, Virginia, has reported its first case of West Nile virus this year.

The county’s health division said in a release on Friday that this serves as a reminder that West Nile is present in the community and around the region.

“West Nile virus is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito,” Dr. Reuben Varghese, Health Director and Division Chief for the Arlington County Public Health Division, said in a statement.

Some of the symptoms include fever, headaches, body aches, and a skin rash. Some people may not see symptoms until up to 14 days after they’ve been infected by a mosquito.

The D.C. area was hit with record rainfall in July, and more rain soaked the region in early August, creating an ideal environment for mosquitoes to breed. To help protect yourself, the county recommends using the 3-D’s: drain, dress, and defend.

First, drain or dump any standing water that is on your property. It takes mosquitoes about 5 days to breed, and warm standing water are ideal conditions. If you can’t get rid of the standing water, using a larvicide such as Mosquito Dunks will kill any growing mosquitoes in the water.

Be sure to dress in long sleeves and pants before going outside in an area where there will be mosquitoes. The proper clothing, including high socks, will help protect from bites.

In addition to clothing, using a repellent certified by the Environmental Protection Agency will help defend against mosquitoes.

“Well-informed and active residents are necessary partners to combat disease carrying insects in our community,” said Dr. Varghese.

The first West Nile case of the year in Maryland was reported last month in the Baltimore area.

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