- Testing completed by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior
Services' Public Health and Environmental Laboratories has detected
the presence of West Nile virus (WNV) in blood and spinal fluid
samples drawn from two more state residents. This brings to six
the number of human cases of WNV infection detected in the state
newly diagnosed cases include a 72-year old man from Newark (Essex
County) and a 38-year old woman from Pennsauken (Camden). Final
confirmation of the cases will be made by the federal Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) within a few weeks.
Newark man was admitted to St. Michael's Medical Center August 23
with symptoms consistent with WNV infection, including fever, muscle
weakness and altered mental status. His clinical condition improved
and he was discharged. The Pennsauken woman presented at Kennedy
Health System's Cherry Hill Campus hospital on September 20 with
symptoms that began in late August and included fever, headache
and muscle weakness. She was discharged and is receiving physical
therapy on an outpatient basis. Both individuals were most likely
bitten by an infected mosquito in mid to late August.
cooler weather and shorter days, there is a reduced risk of West
Nile virus infection at this time of year, however residents should
continue to take recommended personal precautions to avoid mosquito
bites until the first hard frost in their area occurs," said George
T. DiFerdinando, Jr., M.D., Acting Commissioner of the New Jersey
Department of Health and Senior Services.
the personal precautions residents can take are such measures as
spraying insect repellent on their clothing and exposed skin in
accordance with labeling directions and wearing long sleeved shirts
and pants when outdoors. Residents can also curb outdoor activities
at dawn, dusk and during the evening. Residents should also eliminate
standing water on their own property that can serve as a breeding
ground for mosquitoes. Windows screens should also be used and kept
in good repair.
Kent, Administrator of the New Jersey Department of Environmental
Protections' Office on Mosquito Control Coordination, said that
recent test results of mosquito pools reported to his office on
October 11 indicated no presence of WNV.
is a good indication that the mosquito season, especially in North
Jersey, is winding down," said Kent, noting that it is still important
to carry out prevention and control methods throughout the year.
He said any adult mosquito populations can still be dealt with by
county mosquito control agencies.
important year-round mosquito control activity, Kent said, is tire
clean up. Every county in the state received funding from the $2.4
million tire round-up program this year to assist in cleaning up
scrap tires which can serve as mosquito breeding grounds if left
untreated. The state has proposed an additional $2.4 million in
the fiscal year 2002 budget for tire clean up.
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 or from
person to person. WNV infection generally causes no symptoms or
just mild, flu-like symptoms; however, the elderly and those with
compromised immune systems are at a higher risk of more severe disease.
addition to humans, the virus has been detected this season in New
Jersey in 12 horses, and in birds and/or mosquitoes in every county.
In total, 995 crows and 318 mosquito pools collected from across
the state have tested positive for the presence of WNV this season.
In 2000, testing confirmed the presence of WNV in six state residents,
and numerous birds, mosquitoes and horses.
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
more information on West Nile virus, visit the state's WNV Resources
webpage at www.state.nj.us/governor/westnile.