In Maryland, mosquito breeding season starts in the spring and extends into October. Zika virus disease (Zika) is spread primarily by bites from infected mosquitoes. It has been linked to serious birth defects in babies born to mothers with Zika infection during pregnancy. No Anne Arundel County cases of local mosquitoes transmitting the virus have been reported, although there have been human cases in Maryland linked to travel to other areas.
The Anne Arundel County Department of Health provides information on preventing Zika. Preventing mosquito bites and eliminating mosquito breeding sites are the best ways to stop the spread of the virus. Here are a few tips to avoid mosquito bites:
1. Always wear protective clothing outdoors. Wear shoes, socks, long pants and long sleeves.
2. Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing according to the label.
3. Eliminate standing water in your yard and near your home. Mosquitoes that can transmit the virus use standing water as breeding areas to lay their eggs.
4. Discard items in your yard that are sources of standing water, including old tires and drums. Protect boats and vehicles with tarps that do not accumulate water.
5. Maintain swimming pools properly, and empty children’s pools when not in use.
For more information on Zika, including tips for pregnant women, a list of Zika symptoms, and information on U.S. cases, visit the department’s web page at www.aahealth.org/zika.