A second West Nile virus case has been reported in Maryland.
A state health official said Thursday that the new case is in the Washington metro area, but she did not give an exact location. The first was reported in mid-July in central Maryland.
Kim Mitchell, who tracks West Nile for the state health department, says the most recent case involves a 70-year-old patient suffering from encephalitis, or swelling of the brain, but it has not been determined if the virus is responsible for the encephalitis. The first patient is recovering after suffering feverish symptoms.
Mitchell says it is normal to have one or two cases at this time of year. Nineteen cases were reported last year and 23 the year before. The mosquito-borne disease was first reported in the United States in 1999.
Virginia also has recorded its first two human West Nile virus cases of 2012.
One case was in southwest Virginia and the other was in the northwestern region.
Dr. Laurie Forlano with the Virginia Department of Health tells the Richmond Times-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/P2qY2B) that both people infected with the virus are adults. They have recovered.
Most people infected with the mosquito-borne virus won't get sick. But about one in 150 people will develop the severe form of the illness. Symptoms include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness and paralysis.
Forlano says there typically are one to five human West Nile cases in Virginia a year.
Last year, there were nine human West Nile cases in the state, including one death.
Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch, http://www.timesdispatch.com
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