West Nile virus sample confirmed in Prince William Co.

Weeks before the official start of the summer, Prince William County, Virginia, has detected the county’s first positive sample of the West Nile virus.

The county’s public works department found the virus sample in Woodbridge in a pool of Culex pipiens-restuans mosquitoes — known for carrying West Nile — on May 18.

According to a news release, public works employees will apply an insecticide throughout the area, mainly targeting adult mosquitoes.

Public works will monitor the area throughout the mosquito season. Residents can learn more about the county’s mosquito management services on its website.

Nationwide, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there have been a total of 664 cases reported, as of May 25. Of those 505 of them were classified as neuroinvasive disease, which means they involved meningitis, an inflammation of the brain, and encephalitis, inflammation of the membranes around the brain and spinal cord.

There have been two reported cases of West Nile in Virginia and one in Maryland, as of May 25. Both states have reported neuroinvasive cases.

There are no medications to treat the virus.

According to the CDC, about one in every five people infected with the West Nile virus will experience a fever and other noticeable symptoms that could include headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rashes. Fatigue can last for months.

More serious symptoms include encephalitis or meningitis. The CDC says about one in 10 develop a serious illness that affects the central nervous system.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated to indicate the West Nile virus found in Prince William County was a sample, not a case.

José Umaña

José Umaña is a digital editor for WTOP. He’s been working as a journalist for almost a decade, covering local news, education and sports. His work has appeared in The Prince George’s Sentinel, The Montgomery Sentinel, Orlando Sentinel, PressBox and The Diamondback.

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