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Governor warns of Zika threat

Rachel Baye

Gov. Larry Hogan announced $250,000 in new resources for Zika virus prevention efforts, for a total of more than $600,000 the state is spending on preventing the spread of the virus, officials said Friday afternoon.

The state has so far seen just 12 cases of the Zika virus, and all of them were related to travel outside the United States.

But with mosquito season is just beginning, Hogan urged Marylanders to use common sense as they plan their summer vacations.

“It is an emergency. That’s why we’re trying to raise so much awareness at this point,” he said. “It seems to be manageable at this point, but we want to hope for the best but prepare for the worst.”

The virus is carried by two types of mosquitoes, both of which exist in Maryland. It can also be transmitted sexually.

Officials warned that only one in five people who gets Zika experiences symptoms. And most symptoms are mild — a fever, a rash and pink eye, for example — and last up to a week.

In good news, the mosquitoes that carry it are weak flyers, and state officials said they can be kept at bay by a household fan.

Residents are also urged to eliminate any standing water, to wear long pants when outdoors and to use insect repellant.