ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland officials say they've begun their efforts to combat mosquitoes for the summer.

Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder said in a statement Tuesday that the "Zika virus continues to be a major public health concern" in the state and that officials "remain vigilant in our efforts to fight the disease here in Maryland."

Officials will be working to eliminate potential breeding grounds for mosquitoes and will also be spraying to control the population.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia health officials are encouraging residents to help combat the spread of the Zika virus as mosquito season begins.

The Virginia Health Department's Zika website provides information about how residents can take precautions against the mosquito-borne illness. Zika can cause serious birth defects in pregnant women.

There have been 115 reported cases of Zika in Virginia since December 2015. Those have all been cases in which someone traveled to a Zika-affected area. There were no locally transmitted cases.

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Maryland facilities are on the hunt for the Zika virus.

The state only accounts for 3 percent of the cases nationally.

But there are five agencies that are searching for the virus

They range from the Johns Hopkins Hospital and military installations like Walter Reed to the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda.

The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene told WBOC that Maryland is a natural home for such research given the number of health related institutions in the state.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Officials asked residents in some parts of Baltimore to stay inside Sunday night while the city sprays to control mosquitoes.

Truck-based spraying began around 10 p.m. between Coolidge Avenue and Benson Avenue and Sharonleigh Road to South Grantley Street.

The city says it's expanding its mosquito control efforts to address growing concerns over the West Nile and Zika virus.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware officials say Medicaid recipients can now get benefit coverage for over-the-counter mosquito repellents.

Officials say the move is intended to help protect against the Zika virus.

Over-the-counter insect repellents generally are not covered by Medicaid. But the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently allowed states to cover mosquito repellents for Medicaid recipients when prescribed by an authorized health professional.


ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Health and agriculture officials say West Nile virus has been detected in a mosquito pool in Prince George's County, the first such pool found in the state this year.

The Department of Agriculture said in a news release Tuesday that workers mosquitoes collected mosquitoes in Capitol Heights on July 19. The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene confirmed the presence of West Nile virus in those mosquitoes on July 27.

Officials say truck sprayed the area to control adult mosquitoes.

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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - Virginia health officials say they will extend testing for the Zika virus in mosquitoes to the Hampton Roads region.

WTKR-TV reports that none of Virginia's mosquitoes has tested positive for the virus so far. But the state health commissioner says it's likely a matter of time before some will become infected. The virus is known to cause birth defects.

Dr. Marissa Levine, the health commissioner, said more testing will help the state get ahead of Zika and mitigate its spread. 

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The commonwealth of Virginia will now be able to timely detect any potential Zika virus outbreaks.

Vrginia's Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services announced Monday that it is now able to test blood samples for the Zika virus after being appropriately designated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - State environmental officials are gearing up for the start of this year's mosquito spraying season.

Weather permitting, crews will begin spraying in wooded wetlands near select populated areas downstate on Saturday, and in northern Delaware on Tuesday.

Crews will target about 10,000 forested acres that produce large numbers of early-season mosquitoes, using larvicides applied by helicopter and possibly fixed-wing aircraft.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Health officials say Maryland has its first confirmed Zika virus infection.

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said in a news release Thursday that a Maryland resident who had traveled to a country where Zika transmission has been active and ongoing has tested positive for the mosquito-borne virus.

Many people infected with the Zika virus do not get sick. For those who do, it is usually a mild illness with symptoms including fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes. The virus is primarily spread through bites from a specific mosquito.

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The Zika virus just got a bit closer.

A student at Virginia’s College of William and Mary came down with the virus over the winter break.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the university said the student is expected to recover and is not experiencing any symptoms.

In addition, officials said there was no danger to anyone on campus.

The Zika virus has been spreading across Central and South America through the mosquito population.

It causes fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis.

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The Maryland Department of Agriculture says it has detected the first sign of the West Nile Virus in a mosquito pool for this year.

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene confirmed its presence in the city of Bowie, Prince George’s County.

State officials say around 20 percent of those infected with the virus will develop fever along with headaches and body aches.

Those most at risk are people over 50 and those whose immune systems have already been compromised.

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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - Norfolk health officials say Eastern Equine Encephalitis has been detected in a group of chickens.

The Norfolk Department of Public Health tells media outlets that a sample taken from the chickens on July 13 tested positive for the disease.

Eastern Equine Encephalitis typically is transmitted by mosquitoes. The department says human cases are rare.

Crews planned to fog the area where the disease was detected on Thursday.

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Maryland’s mosquito eradication efforts begin today with aerial spraying operations in Dorchester, Somerset and Worcester counties.

They will hit flooded woodland and fresh water areas to destroy the larvae.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the white aircraft with red and blue strips will fly around 250 feet above the land.

There are around 28-hundred acres of woodland in Dorchester County near Cambridge and another 900 acres of woodland in Somerset County around Dames Quarter and Fairmont.

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In southern Worcester County a mosquito pool has tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis.

The report by the Worcester County Health Department is the first in the state for the year.

It was found in a remote, low-lying area of the county which is known for having standing water.

The Health Department said that the recent rains may have attracted the mosquitos.

The disease is rare in humans and most people who are infected experience no signs of the illness.

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There’s good news on the mosquito front.

Delaware has not seen any sign of Eastern Equine Encephalitis so far this year.

And evidence of West Nile Virus has been light in the First State.

Meanwhile, on the Maryland Eastern Shore and Virginia there has been no sign of Eastern Equine Encephalitis while all the cases of West Nile Virus have been on the Western Shore.

State officials say the drier-than-normal conditions have been the key reason but they note that the mosquito season begins in earnest starting mid-August and ending in early October.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Natural resources officials are asking that residents report sick or dead wild birds as part of the state's monitoring of the West Nile virus.

The Division of Fish and Wildlife Mosquito Control Section said Wednesday that beginning June 2, resident can report sick or dead crows, blue jays, cardinals, robins, and hawks or owls. Residents are also asked to report clusters of five or more sick or dead wild birds of any species.

Officials say some dead birds will be collected and tested for West Nile virus.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Health and environmental officials in Delaware say a sentinel chicken has tested positive for eastern equine encephalitis. This is the first such finding since 2008.

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental control said Friday that the Delaware Public Health Laboratory has confirmed the presence of the virus, which occurred within a statewide network of 24 sentinel chicken stations.

The chicken was sampled at a monitoring station near Frankford in Sussex County. Environmental officials have taken additional mosquito control actions.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Public health officials are urging Maryland residents to protect themselves against mosquito bites to prevent infection with the West Nile virus.

Department of Health and Mental Hygiene says it began tracking the virus on Monday for the 2013 season. Last year, there were 47 cases reported in Maryland.

Officials say residents should avoid areas of high mosquito activity long pants, long-sleeved shirts and hats when concerned about mosquito exposure. Residents are also urged to use an EPA-registered insect repellent.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Recent rains and standing water may make mosquitoes a concern, but Delaware health officials say the state also has one the nation's highest rates of Lyme disease.

Dr. Awe Maduka-Ezeh, the state's Public Health Medical Director, tells WDEL-AM that there are many reasons for the tick influx. She says the state has many parks and forests and a large population of deer, which are the natural hosts for the ticks that carry the disease.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - State wildlife officials are asking that residents report sick or dead wild birds that may have contracted the West Nile virus.

The Division of Fish and Wildlife Mosquito Control Section asks for reporting on crows, blue jays, cardinals, robins, and hawks or owls. Officials also want to hear about three or more sick or dead wild birds of any species.

West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne disease that can affect humans and unvaccinated horses. There were nine human cases and one fatality caused by the virus in Delaware in 2012.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware public health officials are reporting the state's first death this year from the mosquito-borne West Nile virus.

Officials said a 76-year-old New Castle woman with West Nile virus infection and several underlying medical conditions died Thursday.

The also said tests conducted this week confirmed that an 80-year-old Wilmington woman also contracted the virus, bringing the total this year to three.


Mayor Jim Ireton wants to increase spending on mosquito spraying this season.

He says the amendment to this year’s spending plan would help Salisbury coordinate its effort with Wicomico County.

In the wake of the rise in the West Nile Virus that has left on dead in the state of Maryland Ireton reminded residents to protect themselves against mosquitos that carry the disease.  

DOVER, Del. (AP) — Delaware officials say a dead crow found in the Newark area has tested positive for the West Nile virus, the first reported case of the disease in the state this year.

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control says the finding is not a cause for alarm because the mosquito-borne disease has been found in the state every year since 2001. But officials are warning residents to reduce their risk of mosquito infections by avoiding mosquito-infested areas, wearing protective clothing and using insect repellent.