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News Release

 
   PO 360
   Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

   For Release:
  September 6, 2002

 

Clifton R. Lacy, M.D.
Commissioner

For Further Information Contact:
Donna Leusner
(609) 984-7160


Second Human Case of West Nile Reported

TRENTON -The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services announced that a second New Jersey resident has been infected with West Nile Virus.

A 62-year old Mercerville, Mercer County man has tested positive for West Nile Virus. The man was admitted to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital at Hamilton on September 1 with headaches, fever, chills and changes in mental status. He remains hospitalized in critical condition.

The state lab received samples for testing on Thursday. Those samples tested positive today. The man had no recent travel or organ transplant history. He works outdoors.

A 77-year-old Ewing man tested positive for the West Nile virus September 4. The Mercerville case is the 20th in New Jersey since 1999.

"This second case of West Nile disease in humans in New Jersey this season re-emphasizes the need for all New Jerseyans to take appropriate precautions to avoid mosquito bites,'' said Health and Senior Services Commissioner Clifton R. Lacy, M.D. "This is especially important because we are in peak season for West Nile infection,'' Commissioner Lacy said.

Eddy Bresnitz, M.D., the state epidemiologist, added, "Even though the first two human cases this year are in Mercer County, residents throughout the state are equally at risk for infection. The virus has been detected in birds and mosquitoes in all but one county in the state.''

"Residents can protect themselves from infection by using insect repellent according to labeled directions and wearing long-sleeved clothing, especially at dawn, dusk and during the evening,'' Bresnitz said. "People should also keep window screens in good repair and eliminate standing water where mosquitoes can breed.''

So far this year, 74 residents, including two in Mercer County, have met the state's testing criteria. Of those, 32 are negative and 40 are pending test results. In Mercer County, 39 crows/birds and two mosquito pools have tested positive for West Nile.

For more information on West Nile, visit the state's home page at www.state.nj.us/health and click on "West Nile virus.''

 

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Department of Health and Senior Services
P. O. Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

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