Test Results as of 9/26/00
Crow, Hawk & Falcon Testing
- In total, blood and/or spinal fluid samples from 38 residents have been or are in the process of being tested for the presence of WNV. To date, 2 tests were positive*, 15 were negative and 21 are pending. These individuals either had symptoms or signs that met the established WNV testing criteria or exhibited most of the symptoms and are from counties where dead crows and/or mosquitoes with the virus have been discovered.
- New Jersey's positive human cases include a 43-year old Jersey City man whose test was verified by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Sept.1. *In addition, a 54-year old man with dual residency in Brooklyn, N.Y., and Cliffside Park, Bergen County, tested positive for WNV. The 54-year old man became ill Aug. 31 and was admitted to a New York City hospital on Sept. 4. His WNV test was conducted by the New York City Health Department and verified by the CDC on Sept. 12.
- Human testing for WNV is being conducted at the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services' Public Health and Environmental Laboratory in Trenton and at public health labs in other states. Testing results are sent to the CDC for verification.
- The department has also been contacted by doctors of more than 2 dozen patients with symptoms that did not meet all WNV testing criteria. The physicians were given the option of sending samples of their patients' blood to private laboratories for analysis using the St. Louis Encephalitis (SLE) screening test. Since SLE and WNV are closely related viruses, a WNV case will most likely react to a SLE test. The department has not been notified of any positive SLE tests to date.
- To date, 838 birds (837 crows and a cockatiel) found in 16 counties have tested positive for the presence of WNV. Positive birds have been found in Bergen (179), Burlington (3), Camden (2), Cape May (2), Essex (89), Gloucester (2), Hudson (60), Hunterdon (3), Mercer (5), Middlesex (162), Monmouth (129), Morris (26), Ocean (6), Passaic (63), Somerset (13) and Union (94) Counties. The tests were conducted at the Department of Health and Senior Services' lab in Trenton. A total of 1,527 crows have been accepted for testing this year.
Mosquito & House Sparrow Testing
- Thirty-four mosquito pools collected in Bergen (19), Essex (1), Middlesex (2), Monmouth (3), Passaic (7) and Sussex (2) Counties have tested positive for the presence of WNV. In total, more than 1,680 mosquito pools from all 21 counties have been collected by the Rutgers Mosquito Research and Control Unit and tested by the Department of Health and Senior Services and/or the CDC.
- In addition to mosquitoes, the CDC also analyzed blood samples taken from 541 house sparrows collected in Bergen, Passaic and Sussex County in late July. No sparrows with WNV were discovered in New Jersey.
Sentinel Chicken Testing
- Blood samples taken weekly from sentinel chicken flocks placed in all 21 counties and tested by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture have all tested negative for the presence of WNV to date.
- Six horses from Atlantic (2), Cape May (1), Ocean (1) and Sussex (2)
Counties have tested positive for WNV. The tests were conducted by the
New Jersey Department of Agriculture's animal health laboratory in
Trenton and were confirmed by the National Veterinary Services
Laboratory in Ames, Iowa.
Additional Information & Advisories
- New Jersey residents can take personal precautions to minimize their WNV exposure risk. Such measures include 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.
- 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 disease.
- The West Nile virus was first isolated and identified in the Western Hemisphere by the CDC in September 1999 in birds found dead in New York City and Westchester County. The virus was responsible for 62 human cases of encephalitis in New York State and seven deaths. This year, there have been 12 human cases in New York City, including 9 in Staten Island.
- New Jersey's WNV surveillance, control and prevention efforts 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 federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the State Mosquito Control Commission, the Rutgers Mosquito Research and Control Unit, and local health and mosquito control agencies.
- For more information on West Nile virus, visit the State Department of Health and Senior Services' website at www.state.nj.us/health, the State Department of Environmental Protection's site at www.state.nj.us/dep/mosquito, the State Department of Agriculture's site at www.state.nj.us/agriculture, or the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's site at www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/q&a.htm.