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PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360
|Fred M. Jacobs, M.D., J.D.|
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The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services today reported this season’s first human case of West Nile virus (WNV) infection in an 82-year-old
Preliminary hospital tests suggested WNV and the diagnosis was confirmed by tests at the New Jersey Public Health and Environmental Laboratory (PHEL) on Aug. 23.
Last year, six
“With summer winding down, residents should remember to protect themselves against mosquito bites,” said New Jersey Health and Senior Services Commissioner Fred M. Jacobs, M.D., J.D. “We are well into peak of the season for mosquito bites, which runs from mid-July through September.”
Residents should clean or remove any items on their personal property that can collect rain or sprinkler water and serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes, such as clogged gutters, flowerpots, or old car tires. They should also completely change water in birdbaths at least once a week and repair window and door screens.
People should also apply insect repellent to their clothing and exposed skin in accordance with labeling directions, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants, weather permitting, when outdoors, and limit outdoor activities at dawn, dusk and during the evening.
This year to date, 136 birds have been submitted for testing by the Department of Health and Senior Services Public Health and Environmental Laboratory. Of those tested, 18 birds found in seven counties have been confirmed positive for the presence of WNV. Positive birds have been found in
Also to date, 2,300 mosquito pools have been tested for the presence of WNV, and 120 positive pools have been found in Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Passaic, Salem , Somerset and Union counties.
To date no horse has tested positive this year for the presence of WNV. Equine testing is conducted by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture’s animal health laboratory in
WNV, 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 human to human.
About one in 150 persons, or less than one percent of those infected with WNV, will develop a more severe form of the disease. Symptoms of the more severe disease include severe headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness and paralysis. The elderly are at higher risk of more severe disease.
For more information on WNV, visit the DHSS website at www.nj.gov/health.
Department of Health
P. O. Box 360, Trenton, NJ 08625-0360