Four more Marylanders reported infected with West Nile this year

October 25, 2002|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

Four Marylanders -- two from Anne Arundel County and one each from Frederick and Montgomery counties -- have tested positive for the West Nile virus, bringing to 23 the number of cases reported this year by state health officials.

In Anne Arundel, two men, ages 56 and 78, were diagnosed with the virus. In the other two cases reported yesterday, a 63-year-old Frederick County woman and a 68-year-old Montgomery County man were found to be infected.

In three of the new cases, the patient recovered from the illness. The 78-year-old Anne Arundel man died, although West Nile has not been confirmed as the cause of death, the health department said.

To date, seven of the 23 people infected with West Nile have died. However, the West Nile virus has been confirmed as the cause of death in only one.

Most infected people experience no symptoms from the virus, which is spread to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. A few may have a flulike reaction.

Fewer than 1 percent, most of them elderly or those with weakened immune systems, will become seriously ill with encephalitis or meningitis -- inflammations of the brain and spinal tissue.

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