West Nile virus cases in 2015 more than double last year's

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BALTIMORE (AP) — Public health officials say 13 cases of West Nile virus in humans have been confirmed in Maryland this year.

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene says that number is more than twice the number of West Nile virus cases reported in all of 2014.

The mosquito-borne virus also has been detected in mosquitoes and horses in the state this year.

The department reminds residents to take precautions to avoid infection, including avoiding outdoor activities at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active; wearing long pants, long-sleeved shirts and hats; and using insect repellant.

While most people who contract West Nile virus will have no symptoms, health officials warn that people over age 60 have the greatest risk of developing severe disease, as do people who are immunocompromised.

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