Baltimore County Now
Health Experts Offer Prevention Tips
The Baltimore County Department of Health is announcing its first confirmed case of West Nile Virus (WNV) this year. The infected individual died on Monday, August 24, from causes not related to West Nile Virus.
“West Nile Virus is an unfortunate, yet common disease that we expect to find in Marylanders this time of year," said Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch, Director of the Baltimore County Department of Health and Human Services. "To reduce the risk of getting infected, I encourage residents to W.R.A.P. up."
“W.R.A.P. Up” prevention measures are:
- Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts and hats, when concerned about mosquitoes.
- Repair damaged window screens.
- Avoid areas of high mosquito activity and unnecessary outdoor activities at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.
- Purchase and use an EPA-registered insect repellent according to package directions.
WNV is a disease that is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected animal. In humans, WNV generally causes either no symptoms or mild, flu-like illness, but it can also be fatal. Persons older than 60 have the greatest risk of developing severe disease. People with compromised immune systems also may be at high risk of WNV infection.
Monitor Yards and Gardens
Residents are urged to monitor their own yards and gardens for standing water that can serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Small amounts of water in a discarded can or container will support dozens of mosquitoes. To eliminate mosquito-breeding areas:
- Clean rain gutters to allow water to flow freely.
- Empty or screen corrugated drain pipes.
- Remove old tires or drill drainage holes in tires used as playground equipment.
- Turn over wading pools, wheelbarrows, wagons and carts when not in use. Flush water from the bottom of plant holders twice a week.
- Replace water in birdbaths at least twice a week.
- Turn garbage can lids upside down and make sure trash receptacles are empty of water.
- Fix dripping faucets.
- Aerate ornamental pools and water gardens or stock with fish and use a circulating filter system.
Spray Programs Offered
In an effort to reduce the WNV-infected mosquito population, the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) will spray all communities within a one-mile radius of where the deceased person lived. MDA plans to post the affected communities at http://mda.maryland.gov/plants-pests/Pages/mosquito_control.aspx.
Communities interested in the spray program should send an email to the Environmental Health Services Office at email@example.com. Please note that mosquito control services cannot be provided within a community that has not enrolled in the program.
To learn more about WNV, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
Nature Quest is Your Ticket to Outdoor Adventure
Interested in an adventure and a chance to find new parks in your area? You’ll love Baltimore County’s Nature Quest! Baltimore County Recreation and Parks, the Baltimore County Local Health Coalition and Wegmans grocery store have partnered to provide this fun, free adventure.
You can experience the outdoors and be active while discovering some of the best parks and trails in Baltimore County. It’s great for families, scout troops, seniors – anyone who wants to get outdoors and have fun. You can bike, hike, or canoe on designated trails and complete the Nature Quest while earning prizes.
All you have to do is finish at least five trails and you can join us on October 17 to celebrate at our Nature Quest Fest. This action- packed event will include various activities such as canoeing, fishing, live animals, crafts and more. So get your family and friends together and begin your adventure!
Complete Your Quest in Three Easy Steps!
1. Get your Passport booklet. Pick up a Nature Quest booklet from your local Wegmans store, at participating parks (Robert E. Lee Park, Center for Maryland Agriculture and Farm Park, Oregon Ridge Nature Center, Cromwell Valley Park, Marshy Point Nature Center, Benjamin Banneker Historical Park, or Honeygo Run Regional Park), or print one online at relpnc.org/nature-quest.
2. Start hiking. Take your booklet and a pencil or crayon and head out on the trails. Record your progress by making a rubbing of the trail marker located on each of 13 trails.
3. Collect your prizes. Prizes are awarded after accumulating rubbings from at least five of the 13 trails. In addition to the prizes, questers that complete five trails or more also receive free admission to the Nature Quest Fest on October 17. Extra incentives are available to questers that complete 7 to 13 trails!
Shannon Davis, Park Ranger, Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks
Summer Food Safety, 9-1-1 Know-How and CZMP
The July edition of Baltimore County’s half-hour cable television public affairs show, “Hello Baltimore County,” highlights the following topics:
Food Safety Tips to Keep from Spoiling Your Summer Fun – When temperatures soar, food-borne illness has a field day! Find out how to keep your picnic food and your family safe.
Make the Right Call – Baltimore County’s 9-1-1 Center Assistant Chief shares how to help emergency responders help you when you call 9-1-1.
Comprehensive Zoning Map Process – Every four years, you have the chance to request a zoning change on property in Baltimore County. Find out how, and why it matters to your community.
In addition to online access, the program runs several times per week on Cable Channel 25, in Baltimore County, at the following times:
- Mondays: 1:30 p.m., 6 p.m.
- Tuesdays: 12 p.m., 9 p.m.
- Wednesdays: 11 a.m., 4 p.m., 10 p.m.
- Thursdays: 1 p.m., 8 p.m.
- Fridays: 11 a.m., 6 p.m.
- Saturdays: 10 a.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m.
- Sundays: 10 a.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m.