LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) – A second case of West Nile Virus has been confirmed in Maryland.
A 70-year-old is suffering from swelling of the brain after being infected by the virus. The location where the patient was infected has not been given, although the first West Nile case surfaced in central Maryland in July.
The Centers for Disease Control says 26 people have died from West Nile across 43 different states from a total of 700 confirmed cases this year.
Chief Health and Medical Editor Dr. Richard Besser says there are some precautions to take to lower the risk of contracting the disease from mosquitoes, like spraying on bug repellant and covering up skin with more clothing. He says to also get rid of standing water, which is a breeding ground for mosquito activity, so get rid of that around your house.
Concerns of the spread of the virus have gotten so severe that some states are considering the use of aerial spraying.
Mike Raupp, of the University of Maryland College of Agriculture, told “CBS This Morning, the “combination of birds carrying the virus, the high population of mosquitoes, high temperatures and wet conditions, as well as a susceptible population, have made the situation possible.”
New York and Massachusetts have already done aerial spraying to successfully reduce the mosquito population by 60 percent.
The situation is perhaps the worst in the state of Texas, however, with 10 deaths and 200 illnesses in Dallas alone.
The most susceptible populations are areas with a high concentration of senior citizen-aged adults. Raupp says people over 50 years of age are at the greatest risk.