Test Results as of 8/20/01
New In This Update
- Ninety-two more crows and 34 more mosquito pools have been confirmed positive
for the presence of WNV. Cumberland County reported its first positive crow,
while Somerset and Sussex Counties reported their first positive mosquito
Crow, Hawk & Falcon Testing
- To date, 760 birds, mostly crows, have been accepted for testing by the
Department of Health and Senior Services' Public Health and Environmental
Laboratory. Of those tested, 341 crows found in Atlantic (1), Bergen (22),
Burlington (47), Camden (65), Cape May (4), Cumberland (1), Essex (7), Gloucester
(7), Hudson (4), Mercer (5), Middlesex (70), Monmouth (46), Morris (9), Ocean
(1), Passaic (9), Salem (3), Somerset (10), and Union (30) Counties have been
confirmed positive for the presence of WNV.
- To date, 135 mosquito pools collected in Atlantic (5), Bergen (9), Burlington
(8), Camden (24), Cape May (2), Hudson (2), Hunterdon (2), Mercer (1), Middlesex
(6), Monmouth (32), Morris (9), Passaic (13), Salem (2), Somerset (4), Sussex
(4), Union (9), and Warren (3) Counties have tested positive for the presence
of WNV. In total, 1,765 mosquito pools have been tested.
- In total, 38 residents have been approved for WNV testing and 33 have accepted.
(Click here to view list). Blood and/or spinal
fluid samples from these individuals have been or are in the process of being
tested for the presence of WNV. 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
To date, testing has shown that 19 individuals were not infected with
WNV and results are pending for 14 others.
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 confirmation.
Doctors of patients with symptoms that do not meet WNV testing criteria
have 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.
- Equine testing is conducted by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture's
animal health laboratory in Trenton and positive results are sent to the National
Veterinary Services Lab (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa for confirmation. For more information,
visit the Department of Agriculture website at www.state.nj.us/agriculture.
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.
- In 2000, a total of six New Jersey residents became ill and one died due
to WNV infection. The virus was also detected in mosquitoes, horses, crows
and other birds in 20 of the state's 21 counties. The virus was detected for
the first time in the Western Hemisphere in September 1999, in birds found
in New York City and Westchester County.
- New 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 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 WNV, visit the New Jersey State homepage at www.state.nj.us
and click on West Nile Virus.