| West Nile Virus
Surveillance Criteria for Diagnostic Testing of Suspect Cases
of West Nile Virus Infection in New Jersey
To identify human illness caused by West Nile virus (WNV) in New
Jersey, New Jersey physicians are asked to report immediately to
the New Jersey Department of Health (DOH) by
telephone (609-588-3121 or 7500) any patients with the following
The DOH Public Health and Environmental Laboratory will perform WNV testing on submitted specimens that meet the above criteria. In cases which have a low probability for WNV (e.g., only one or two of the four criteria in section 1, above), the physician can perform preliminary screening by testing a blood specimen for St. Louis encephalitis (SLE). Since SLE and WNV are closely related viruses, a WNV case will react positively to an SLE test. The DOH should be notified of any IgM positive SLE tests in these cases, so that follow-up testing for WNV can be performed.
In addition to the above passive surveillance, active surveillance will be carried out by the DOH or local department of health in the counties nearest to the Meadowlands (Bergen, Passaic, Essex, Hudson, and Union). Infection control professionals in all hospitals in these counties will be called once per week to ascertain whether any patients that meet the above suspect case criteria have been admitted to their hospitals.