News Release

PO 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360
Christine Grant
Commissioner
For Release:
September 25, 1999
Revised:
September 28, 1999
For Further Information Contact:
Dennis McGowan
(609) 984-7160
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State Issues West Nile-like Virus Public Health Notice

TRENTON -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) yesterday announced it has isolated and identified a West Nile-like virus from birds -- including a wild crow -- that died in New York City and Westchester County, New York. This marks the first time this virus has been identified in the United States. There has been no isolation of the West Nile-like virus from dead birds in New Jersey.

The West Nile-like virus is closely related to the St. Louis Encephalitis (SLE) virus that has been identified or suspected in numerous cases in New York City. No cases of SLE have been identified in New Jersey since 1975. As with SLE, the West Nile-like virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. Neither virus is directly transmitted from birds to humans or from person to person. The West Nile-like virus generally causes a milder illness than SLE in humans. The West Nile-like virus can also infect horses.

The New Jersey Departments of Health and Senior Services, Agriculture, and Environmental Protection, together with Rutgers University and the New Jersey State Mosquito Control Commission have reviewed the status of mosquito control efforts in the state and will take the following actions:

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