New In This Update
- To date, 11 human cases of West Nile virus (WNV) have been detected
-- Four in Mercer County, two in Burlington, two in Monmouth, and one
each in Hudson, Cape May and Middlesex counties.
This update includes a new case from Middlesex County. A 63-year
old man from Piscataway (Middlesex County) developed muscle weakness
and altered mental status on 10/4/02. He was hospitalized on 10/4/02
with a presumed diagnosis of meningoencephalitis. The patient is currently
hospitalized and is recovering.
More crows and mosquitoes have tested positive for the presence
Crow, American Kestrel and Other Bird and Small Mammal Testing
- To date, 1,060 crows have been accepted for testing by the Department
of Health and Senior Services' Public Health and Environmental Laboratory.
Of those tested, 787 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 (57), Camden (26), Cape May (4),
Cumberland (19), Essex (8), Gloucester (55), Hunterdon (12), Mercer
(42), Middlesex (51), Monmouth (158), Morris (77), Ocean (70), Passaic
(25), Salem (18), Somerset (23), Sussex (1), Union (18), and Warren
- The department has also received 713 bird samples (mostly crows) deemed
unsatisfactory for testing and has been notified of 1,544 dead or ill
birds (mostly crows) not submitted for testing due to their condition.
- To date, 8,076 mosquito pools have been tested in the state laboratory
for the presence of WNV and 343 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 (23), Passaic (44),
Salem (6), Somerset (15), Sussex (13), Union (11) and Warren (4) 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 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 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.