Governor Hogan Budgets $250,000 to Promote Zika Prevention (VIDEO)

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has authorized $250,000 from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene budget to fund the continuation of the state’s Zika virus prevention efforts.

“Our administration’s first and main priority is keeping Marylanders safe, and we want our citizens to know that all levels of government are working together to respond to threats to public health,” said Governor Hogan. “Our state is taking every precaution when it comes to Zika – we are taking this issue seriously – and we will continue to coordinate all available resources in the months ahead.”

The virus is spread chiefly by Aedes mosquitoes, though sexual contact has been documented as a way of transmission. As of today, Maryland has experienced 12 confirmed cases of Zika infection – all have involved travel to areas where the virus is being actively transmitted – Carribean, South America and Central America – and sexual transmission. There has been no local transmission from Maryland mosquitoes.

“Since early this year, our department has been working to raise awareness about Zika throughout the state,” said Health and Mental Hygiene’s Public Health Deputy Secretary Dr. Howard Haft. “The virus has been linked to birth defects, and we are working to prevent those by publicizing ways Marylanders can minimize risks for contracting or spreading Zika.”

Mosquito Control, operated by the Department of Agriculture, will be a crucial component of Maryland’s response. Aedes mosquitoes lay their eggs in containers of standing water around homes, rather than in wetland areas. The disease has not been transmitted locally in Maryland by mosquitoes, however, that may change as the Aedes mosquitoes become active in warmer weather, usually around the beginning of May. If a mosquito takes a blood meal from a recent traveler who has the Zika virus circulating in his or her blood, the mosquito can become infected and transmit the virus when it takes another blood meal.

In the coming weeks and months, the state will continue to work in a coordinated effort with officials from the Departments of Agriculture, Health and Mental Hygiene, Transportation and other agencies to raise Zika prevention awareness among Maryland residents and travelers.

About Zika Virus

Most people infected with the Zika virus do not know it, as symptoms are relatively mild. The most common symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (pink eye). However, the virus poses a significant threat to pregnant women because it has been linked to birth defects, including a condition known as microcephaly. The virus may also be linked to a rare neurologic disorder, Guillain-Barré syndrome.

The incubation period (the time from exposure to symptoms) for the Zika virus disease is not known, but is likely a few days to a week. The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito. The Zika virus usually remains in the blood of an infected person for about a week but it can be found longer in some people. Once a person has been infected, he or she is likely to be protected from future infections. There is no vaccine to prevent or to treat the disease at this time.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend residents see a health care provider if they show symptoms within two weeks of possible exposure to the Zika virus, especially if they have traveled to a region where the virus is active or have had sexual contact with someone who has traveled to those regions. Health and Mental Hygiene urges people who believe they are at risk for contracting Zika to alert their healthcare provider.


Avoiding mosquito bites is critical to keep the Zika virus from spreading. And the best way to avoid bites is to eliminate areas where Aedes mosquitoes lay their eggs. These areas are called “breeding sites.”

“We anticipate a heightened risk for local transmission of the Zika virus as local Aedes mosquitoes become active in May,” said Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. “The best way to prevent the Zika virus is to prevent mosquito bites. This is why it is critical for all Marylanders to survey their property for potential mosquito breeding areas. If you see mosquito control workers in your neighborhood, please work with them. We are there to work with communities to protect public health.”

Aedes mosquitoes breed in containers of standing water. Items like lawn furniture, corrugated drain pipes, flower pots, children’s toys and a variety of common household items can quickly become mosquito breeding grounds. It is vital that all Marylanders make an effort to survey their property now and drain or eliminate anything where water can pool. For instance, store items that hold water inside or upside down.

The department suggests that residents take precautions to minimize their exposure to mosquito bites. These measures include:

  • Wearing long, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing
  • Applying insect repellents according to product labels
  • Avoiding mosquito-infested areas during prime periods of activity (early and late in the day and at night in well-lit areas)
  • Installing, inspecting and repairing window and door screens in homes and stables

For more tips on eliminating mosquito breeding areas, avoiding mosquito bites, as well as general information on Aedes mosquitoes, visit the Department of Agriculture’s Zika website.

Follow @MdAgMosquito on Twitter for the latest news on unscheduled spray events, including Zika response, and other timely information about mosquito control in Maryland. Agriculture and Health and Mental Hygiene also are promoting awareness on Twitter through the #MDZikaAwareness hashtag.

Fight the Bite: Health Officials Say Important to Get Rid of Mosquito Breeding Spots

Zika virus risk symbol as the shadow of a disease carrying mosquito forming text that represents the danger of transmitting infection through bug bites resulting in zika fever.

County officials are urging residents to take steps to protect themselves and their families against the Zika virus. “As we enter the summer mosquito season, everyone should be vigilant about getting rid of mosquito breeding spots,” said Cindy Edwards, senior administrator for Communicable Disease and Epidemiology with Montgomery County’s Department of Health and Human Services. […]

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Five Things to Know Today, Oct. 4, in Montgomery County (VIDEO)

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Here are five things to know today, Oct. 4, in Montgomery County: 1. The Montgomery County Council meets today and on the agenda is a health department update about the Zika virus, a Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) update about efforts to reduce class size, and a 1:30 p.m. public hearing about the future of […]

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State Crews Spray for Mosquitoes in Montgomery County (VIDEO)

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PHOTO | CDC/ Robert S. Craig

The state of Maryland used a truck to help eradicate mosquitoes in two areas of Montgomery County last week. Montgomery County Health and Human Services spokesperson Mary Anderson said the spraying took place in a section of Gaithersburg and in a section of Wheaton. According to Anderson, residents in the spray area received reverse 9-1-1 […]

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Backpack Report: The Zika Virus (Video)

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While many people are enjoying their summer, going the beach, enjoying the sun, it is mosquito season. The West Nile, the Degue and the Chikigonya viruses have already terrorized people and the mosquitoes themselves, but there is a bigger program that is being faced currently, the Zika virus. To lean more information about the virus, […]

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Zika Virus Prevention Discussed on Montgomery Al Dia (VIDEO)

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Marta Gill was a guest on the county’s Spanish language radio show, Montgomery Al Dia. Gill, a nurse with the county’s department of Health and Human Services, discussed the county’s Zika virus prevention efforts. Take a look: Visit our PEG partner County Cable Montgomery to view more of its local programming. For more information go […]

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Emergent BioSolutions Lands Contract to Develop and Manufacture Zika Virus Vaccine

Zika virus risk symbol as the shadow of a disease carrying mosquito forming text that represents the danger of transmitting infection through bug bites resulting in zika fever.

Gaithersburg based biotech company Emergent BioSolutions has been tapped to develop and manufacture an early stage Zika Virus vaccine. The company announced that its Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing (CIADM) has been awarded a contract from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) valued up to $21.9 million, this week. BARDA […]

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Town Hall Meeting on Zika Virus Set for June 29 in Germantown

Zika virus risk symbol as the shadow of a disease carrying mosquito forming text that represents the danger of transmitting infection through bug bites resulting in zika fever.

Montgomery County officials are hosting a Town Hall meeting to discuss the Zika virus on June 29, from 6:30 – 8 p.m., at the Upcounty Regional Services Center in Germantown. Local leaders will outline the County’s action plan and provide information on steps residents can take to protect themselves and their families from mosquito bites. […]

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Zika Virus Town Hall Meeting (VIDEO)

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Fight the Bite is the name of a local educational campaign to protect residents from mosquitoes. Local, state and federal officials recently held a Zika virus town hall meeting at the Dennis Avenue Health Center to discuss prevention and protection. Visit our PEG partner County Cable Montgomery to view more of its local programming.

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County Report This Week (VIDEO)

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Lorna Virgili hosts the latest episode of County Report This Week, which includes reports on a forum about the Zika virus in Silver Spring, recruitment efforts for Montgomery County’s Fire and Rescue Services, MCPS graduation ceremonies, a recap of Montgomery College’s successful baseball season and more. Watch the show, below:

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Zika Virus Information Session Planned for May 26 (VIDEO)

Zika virus risk symbol as the shadow of a disease carrying mosquito forming text that represents the danger of transmitting infection through bug bites resulting in zika fever.

Concerned about the Zika virus? Montgomery County residents can find out more about the virus and learn how to lower infection risk by taking part in an information session on Thursday, May 26. Take a look at the video below. Visit our PEG partner County Cable Montgomery to view more of its local programming.

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