New In This Update
- More crows and mosquitoes have tested positive for the presence of
West Nile virus (WNV). No humans have tested positive for West Nile
virus thus far.
- In total, 65 residents have been approved for WNV testing this season.
(Click here to view list.) Blood and/or
spinal fluid samples from these individuals 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 been discovered.
- To date, 29 are negative and 36 tests on people 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.
Crow, American Kestrel and Other Bird and Small Mammal Testing
- To date, 739 crows have been accepted for testing by the Department
of Health and Senior Services' Public Health and Environmental Laboratory.
Of those tested, 443 crows found in 19 counties have been confirmed
positive for the presence of WNV. Positive crows have been found in
Atlantic (14), Bergen (53), Burlington (29), Camden (13), Cape May (1),
Cumberland (5), Essex (2), Gloucester (17), Hunterdon (5), Mercer (32),
Middlesex (33), Monmouth (114), Morris (36), Ocean (46), Passaic (22),
Salem (3), Somerset (13), Union (3), and Warren (2) Counties.
- The department has also received 218 bird samples (mostly crows)
deemed unsatisfactory for testing and has been notified of 812 dead
or ill birds (mostly crows) not submitted for testing due to their condition.
- To date, 5,302 mosquito pools have been tested in the state laboratory
for the presence of WNV and 203 pools found in 19 counties have tested
positive for WNV. Positive mosquitoes were collected in Atlantic (15),
Bergen (58), Burlington (8), Camden (4), Cape May (2), Essex (1), Gloucester
(2), Hudson (1), Hunterdon (3), Mercer (2), Middlesex (21), Monmouth
(17), Morris (15), Ocean (12), Passaic (29), Salem (1), Somerset (4),
Union (6) and Warren (2) Counties.
- 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
Additional Information & Advisories
- The risk of WNV infection has increased with the arrival of summer
and people should take steps now to eliminate mosquito-breeding areas
around their homes and protect themselves and their families from infection.
- Among the personal precautions residents can take now are such measures
as eliminating standing water on their own property (such as clearing
clogged gutters, draining flower pots, recycling old car tires, etc.),
and repairing window and door screens. In the spring, summer, and fall
residents should spray insect repellent on their clothing and exposed
skin in accordance with labeling directions, wear long sleeved shirts
and pants when outdoors, and curb outdoor activities at dawn, dusk and
during the evening.
- 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.
- Between 1999 and 2001, lab testing confirmed WNV infection in 18
New Jersey residents, with two resulting fatalities. The virus has also
been detected in mosquitoes, horses, or crows and other birds in every
county in New Jersey.
- 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 control agencies.