Test Results as of 6/14/01
New In This Update
- A mosquito pool collected May 31 in Piscataway has tested positive for the presence of WNV.
- Human and equine testing status added.
Crow, Hawk & Falcon Testing
- To date, 176 crows and 1 hawk have been tested by the Department of Health and Senior Services' Public Health and Environmental Laboratory. Of those tested, 12 crows found in Bergen (1), Middlesex (10) and Monmouth (1) Counties have been confirmed positive for the presence of the West Nile virus (WNV).
- To date, two mosquito pools collected in Middlesex County has tested positive for the presence of WNV. In total, 389 mosquito pools have been tested.
- In total, blood and/or spinal fluid samples from 6 residents have been or are in the process of being tested for the presence of WNV. Samples from a Morris County resident tested in New York State were negative and results are pending on residents from Burlington, Hudson, Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean Counties. These individuals either had symptoms or signs that met the established WNV testing criteria or exhibited most of the symptoms and are from counties where dead crows and/or mosquitoes with the virus have been discovered.
- Human testing for WNV is being conducted at the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services' Public Health and Environmental Laboratory in Trenton and at public health labs in other states. Testing results are sent to the CDC for confirmation.
- Doctors of patients with symptoms that do not meet WNV testing criteria have the option of sending samples of their patients' blood to private laboratories for analysis using the St. Louis Encephalitis (SLE) screening test. Since SLE and WNV are closely related viruses, a WNV case will most likely react to a SLE test. The department has not been notified of any positive SLE tests to date.
- A total of 8 horses have been tested for WNV this season and all are negative. Equine testing is conducted by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture's animal health laboratory in Trenton and positive results are sent to the National Veterinary Services Lab (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa for confirmation.
Additional Information & Advisories
- New Jersey residents can take personal precautions to minimize their WNV exposure risk. Such measures include spraying insect repellent on their clothing and exposed skin in accordance with labeling directions and wearing long sleeved shirts and pants when outdoors. Residents can also curb outdoor activities at dawn, dusk and during the evening. Residents should also eliminate standing water on their own property that can serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Windows screens should also be used and kept in good repair.
- The West Nile virus, an arboviral disease, is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. WNV is not directly transmitted from birds to humans or from person to person. WNV infection generally causes no symptoms or just mild, flu-like symptoms; however, the elderly are at higher risk of more severe disease.
- In 2000, a total of six New Jersey residents became ill and one died due to WNV infection. The virus was also detected in mosquitoes, horses, crows and other birds in 20 of the state's 21 counties. The virus was detected for the first time in the Western Hemisphere in September 1999, in birds found in New York City and Westchester County.
- New Jersey's WNV surveillance, control and prevention activities involve the coordinated efforts of a number of federal, state and local agencies. These include the New Jersey Departments of Health and Senior Services, Environmental Protection, and Agriculture, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the State Mosquito Control Commission, the Rutgers Mosquito Research and Control Unit, and local health and mosquito control agencies.
- For more information on WNV, visit the New Jersey State homepage at www.state.nj.us and click on West Nile Virus.