School Communities Alerted About Ways to Minimize Risk of Exposure to West Nile Virus

October 6, 2000
Schools throughout the county are being provided with information to distribute to their school communities regarding the West Nile Virus following discovery in the Rockville area on October 5 of dead crows infected with the virus.

First to distribute the information are ten schools within a one-mile radius of the locations where the dead crows were found. A detailed flyer and letter from county health officials were sent home today with students. The flyer and letter provide important information about transmission of the virus and ways to minimize risk of exposure.

The schools are Richard Montgomery High School, Parkland, Julius West and Earle B. Wood middle schools, and Lucy V. Barnsley, Beall, Brookhaven, Fallsmead, Rock Creek Valley, and Ritchie Park elementary schools.

Although there is no immediate health threat, the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services and the Montgomery County Board of Health provided the information to ensure that citizens are aware of where the dead crows were found and to provide information about the disease and how to minimize risk of exposure.

County health officials emphasize that there have been no human cases of the virus detected in Maryland.

West Nile Virus is transmitted by mosquitoes. The incubation period is 5 - 15 days. Most infected people have no symptoms, while some may experience a mild flu-like illness. In a very small number of people infected, encephalitis develops, which can be life-threatening. The elderly and those with impaired immune systems are more vulnerable.

Since mosquitoes are essential to the transmission of West Nile Virus, it is important for citizens to help with mosquito control by eliminating any standing water around their homes. It is also important to avoid outdoor activities at dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are more likely to be feeding.

The announcement sent home to parents is available below as a PDF file. Information on West Nile Virus is available on the website for the Centers for Disease Control at the link below.

Additional information may also be obtained at the Montgomery County West Nile Virus Website at or by calling 240-777-1755.

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