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Test Results as of October 11, 2002
 
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New In This Update

  • To date, eight human cases of West Nile virus (WNV) have been detected -- Four in Mercer County, two in Burlington and one each in Hudson and Cape May counties.

  • More crows and mosquitoes have tested positive for the presence of WNV.

Human Testing

  • In total, 127 residents have been approved for WNV testing this season. 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, 48 are negative, 71 tests on people are pending and 8 positive.

  • 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, 1,498 crows have been accepted for testing by the Department of Health and Senior Services' Public Health and Environmental Laboratory. Of those tested, 771 crows found in 20 counties have been confirmed positive for the presence of WNV. Positive crows have been found in Atlantic (31), Bergen (84), Burlington (55), Camden (25), Cape May (3), Cumberland (19), Essex (8), Gloucester (54), Hunterdon (12), Mercer (41), Middlesex (50), Monmouth (158), Morris (72), Ocean (70), Passaic (25), Salem (16), Somerset (22), Sussex (1), Union (18), and Warren (7) Counties.
  • The department has also received 468 bird samples (mostly crows) deemed unsatisfactory for testing and has been notified of 1289 dead or ill birds (mostly crows) not submitted for testing due to their condition.

Mosquito Testing

  • To date, 7,506 mosquito pools have been tested in the state laboratory for the presence of WNV and 340 pools found in 21 counties have tested positive for WNV. Positive mosquitoes were collected in Atlantic (22) Bergen (74), Burlington (9), Camden (5), Cape May (2), Cumberland (5), Essex (10), Gloucester (15), Hudson (1), Hunterdon (3), Mercer (2), Middlesex (27), Monmouth (26), Morris (26), Ocean (21), Passaic (44), Salem (6), Somerset (15), Sussex (13), Union (11) and Warren (3) Counties.
Horse Testing
  • 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

  • The risk of WNV infection continues during the fall 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 can spray insect repellent on their clothing and exposed skin in accordance with labeling directions, wear long sleeved shirts and pants when outdoors, or 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. 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.

 

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