West Nile Virus Update, 10/21/99
- There have been no confirmed human cases of West Nile virus
infection in New Jersey.
- The New Jersey Department of Health is aware
that blood and/or spinal fluid samples have been drawn from more than
30 state residents by health care providers and submitted directly to
public and private laboratories for testing for the West Nile
virus. To date, the CDC and the New York State Health Laboratory in
Wadsworth, N.Y., have tested 21 of those specimens and all 21 are
negative for the virus.
- Yesterday, the department reported that 16 more dead crows and a
second sampling of mosquitoes collected in New Jersey have tested
positive for the West Nile virus.
- Of the 16 new positive crows, positive samples were found for
the first time in Burlington, Passaic, Somerset and Warren Counties.
To date, a total of 51 birds (50 crows and a pigeon) from 12 counties
have tested positive for the virus. Positives have also been found
in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris and
Union Counties. Negative birds were from these and other counties.
- The second sampling of positive mosquitoes were collected by the
Vector Surveillance Program at Rutgers University and submitted to
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for testing.
The surveillance program is funded by the New Jersey Department of
- The second positive mosquito sampling, containing Aedes vexans
mosquitoes, was collected in Kearny on September 9th. Last week it
was reported a sampling of Culex pipiens mosquitoes collected in
Secaucus on September 28th had tested positive for the West Nile
virus. All other mosquito specimens tested to date have been
negative for the virus.
- The department is urging providers, hospitals and labs to
continue to contact the department immediately if specimens are drawn
from patients exhibiting symptoms consistent with illness due to the
West Nile virus so that the department can keep an accurate, up- to-date
count of samples being submitted for testing.
- New Jersey residents have been advised to continue to take
precautions to reduce their risk of mosquito bites. This includes
spraying insect repellent containing DEET on their clothing and
exposed skin and wearing long sleeved shirts and pants when outdoors.
Residents should also curb outdoor activities at dawn, dusk and
during the evening.