West Nile Virus Update, 10/28/99
- There have been no confirmed human cases of West Nile virus
infection in New Jersey. The virus has been detected in some birds
and mosquitoes collected in the state.
- The New Jersey Department of Health is aware
that blood and/or spinal fluid samples have been drawn from more than
40 state residents by health care providers and submitted directly to
public and private laboratories for testing for the West Nile virus.
- To date, the CDC and the New York State Health Laboratory in
Wadsworth, N.Y., have completed initial screening tests and/or final
tests of specimens from 34 New Jersey residents and all 34 are
negative for the virus.
- To date, 58 birds found in 15 counties have tested positive for
the West Nile virus. Positive birds have been found in Bergen,
Burlington, Cumberland, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex,
Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Union and Warren
Counties. Negative birds were found in these and other counties.
- To date, all mosquito samples collected by the Vector
Surveillance Program at Rutgers University and submitted to the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have been tested.
All but two previously reported samplings were negative for the West
Nile virus. The positive specimens, containing Aedes vexans and
Culex pipiens mosquitoes, were collected September 9th in Kearny and
September 28th in Secaucus, respectively.
- The department is urging providers, hospitals and labs to
continue to contact the department immediately if specimens are drawn
from patients exhibiting symptoms consistent with illness due to the
West Nile virus so that the department can keep an accurate, up-to-
date count of samples being submitted for testing.
- New Jersey residents have been advised to continue to take
precautions to reduce their risk of mosquito bites. This includes
spraying insect repellent containing DEET on their clothing and
exposed skin and wearing long sleeved shirts and pants when outdoors.
Residents should also curb outdoor activities at dawn, dusk and
during the evening.