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September 11, 2000

For more information contact:
Jim Sciascia at 609-984-6295

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Fish and Wildlife urges hunters, anglers and wildlife watchers to take precautions against mosquito bites when going afield this fall. Because these people are usually outdoors at dawn and dusk, the prime times when mosquitoes are most active, personal precautions should be taken to minimize the risk of West Nile Virus (WNV) exposure.

"Mosquito repellent and long sleeved shirts and pants should be a part of every outdoor enthusiast's gear this fall," said Division Director Bob McDowell. "Outdoorsmen and women should make every effort to avoid contact with mosquitoes until the first frost." Precautionary measures include spraying insect repellent on clothing and exposed skin in accordance with labeling directions and wearing long sleeved shirts and pants when outdoors. If possible, sportsmen and women should try to avoid standing water that can serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes. These measures should be taken until the first frost when risk of WNV exposure is no longer a threat.

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 or from person to person. WNV infection generally causes no symptoms or just mild, flu-like symptoms; however, the elderly are at higher risk of more severe effects from the disease. For more information on West Nile Virus, visit the State Department of Health and Senior Services' website at; the State Department of Environmental Protection's site at; the State Department of Agriculture's site at; or the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's site at