Test Results as of 8/29/01
New In This Update
- A 72-year old Bergenfield woman has tested positive for the presence of
West Nile virus (WNV). Testing on serum and spinal fluid samples completed
today by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services laboratories
were consistent with the WNV diagnosis. Final confirmation of this case will
be made by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) within
a few weeks. Prior to today's results, the virus had only been detected in
New Jersey this year in mosquitoes, crows and sentinel chickens. The patient
was admitted to Holy Name Hospital in Teaneck at the end of July with symptoms
consistent with WNV infection, including a fever greater than 100 degrees,
muscle weakness and malaise. While her mental status has improved, she continues
to experience weakness in her legs and is receiving rehabilitative therapy.
Tests have also confirmed the presence of WNV in 162 additional crows.
- In total, 47 residents have been approved for WNV testing and 42 have accepted.
. (Click here to view list). Blood and/or spinal
fluid samples from these individuals have been or are in the process of being
tested for the presence of WNV. 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
To date, 1 test was positive, 24 were negative and 17 are pending.
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.
Crow, Hawk & Falcon Testing
- To date, 1,087 birds, mostly crows, have been accepted for testing by the
Department of Health and Senior Services' Public Health and Environmental
Laboratory. Of those tested, 647 crows found in 20 counties have been confirmed
positive for the presence of WNV. Positive crows have been found in Atlantic
(1), Bergen (53), Burlington (72), Camden (136), Cape May (7), Cumberland
(1), Essex (19), Gloucester (12), Hudson (10), Hunterdon (4), Mercer (6),
Middlesex (109), Monmouth (104), Morris (18), Ocean (3), Passaic (24), Salem
(4), Somerset (20), Union (43), and Warren (1) Counties.
- To date, 193 mosquito pools collected in Atlantic (8), Bergen (22), Burlington
(8), Camden (32), Cape May (3), Hudson (2), Hunterdon (3), Mercer (1), Middlesex
(13), Monmouth (42), Morris (10), Ocean (3), Passaic (16), Salem (2), Somerset
(4), Sussex (4), Union (14), and Warren (6) Counties have tested positive
for the presence of WNV. In total, 1,995 mosquito pools have been tested.
- 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. For more information,
visit the Department of Agriculture website at www.state.nj.us/agriculture.
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 CDC, the State Mosquito Control Commission,
the Rutgers Mosquito Research and Control Unit, and local health and mosquito
- For more information on WNV, visit the New Jersey State homepage at www.state.nj.us
and click on West Nile Virus.