New In This Update
- State expands bird testing to all members of the
corvid family (crows, jays and related birds).
- To date, 32 New Jersey residents have been approved
for WNV testing. There are no positive human cases; twenty-six
have tested negative, two are pending, and the samples
have not yet been received for the remainder. Blood and/or spinal fluid
samples from these individuals were tested for the presence of
WNV. These individuals either had symptoms or signs that met
the established WNV testing criteria.
- 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.
- To date 143 crows have been submitted for
testing by the Department of Health and Senior Services Public
Health and Environmental Laboratory. Of those tested, 27 birds
found in 10 counties have been confirmed positive for the presence
of WNV. Positive crows have been found in Atlantic (10), Bergen
(1), Cape May (4), Gloucester (1), Mercer (1), Middlesex (1),
Monmouth (1), Morris (1), Ocean (6), and Somerset (1) counties.
- To date, 2,551 mosquito pools have been tested for
the presence of WNV and 41 positive pools have been found in
Atlantic (6), Bergen (8), Burlington (2), Cape May (1), Gloucester
(11), Hudson (1), Hunterdon (2), Mercer (6), Morris (1), Ocean
(1), Passaic (1) and Union (1) counties.
- To date no horses have tested positive for the presence
of WNV. 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’s web site at www.state.nj.us/agriculture.
Additional Information & Advisories
- 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, weather permitting, or curb outdoor activities
at dawn, dusk and during the evening. WNV infection generally
causes no symptoms or just mild, flu-like symptoms; however,
the elderly are at higher risk
of more severe disease.
- 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 symptoms.
- In New Jersey, a total of 76 people have been diagnosed
with WNV between 1999 and 2003. Lab testing confirmed WNV infection
in these residents, with five resulting fatalities. WNV activity
(identified from avian, equine and/or mosquito surveillance)
has been detected 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 federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
the State Mosquito Control Commission, the Rutgers Mosquito Research
and Control Unit and local health and mosquito control agencies.