News Flash

News - Press Releases

Posted on: August 17, 2023

Mosquitoes in Laurel Test Positive for West Nile Virus

Truck on a Road Spraying Chemicals

The City has been notified by the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) that mosquitoes testing positive for West Nile Virus (WNV) have been trapped at the following locations:

  1. Highpoint Trail and Overlook Way, Laurel
  2. Oxford Drive and Northlake Court, Laurel

If conditions permit MDA will be conducting unscheduled spraying on 8/20/23 in Laurel. MDA will be spraying a 3/4-mile radius of the trap site. The precautions are basically the same as for regular spraying. The only differences are, MDA is not spraying according to municipality boundaries and any exemptions from spraying are paused.

WNV is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds. Infected mosquitoes can then spread WNV to humans and other animals when they bite.

Most people exposed to the virus don’t get sick, but about 20 percent develop symptoms like headache, fever, muscle and joint aches, nausea, and fatigue. The current warm weather and high humidity provides ideal conditions for mosquito activity and WNV transmission.

To reduce the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes, residents should:

  • TIP IT OR TOSS IT!! Remove standing water. Emptying out water that collects in toys, tires, trash cans, buckets, clogged rain gutters and plant pots will prevent mosquitoes a place to lay their eggs and reproduce.
  • Keep all swimming pools chlorinated and filtered. Backyard ponds should include fish to control mosquito larvae.
  • Minimize time spent outdoors between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Be sure door and window screens are tight-fitting and in good repair.
  • Wear long sleeves and pants. Create a barrier to mosquito bites by covering up.
  • Consider using EPA-registered repellent such as those containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol or 2-undecanone.
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in an unscreened structure and to protect infants when outdoors.

If you have questions, please contact Michele Blair at 301-725-5300, ext. 2203.

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