No New Jersey residents have been diagnosed with West Nile virus
this summer, according to the latest health statistics compiled
by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services. Commissioner
Clifton R. Lacy, M.D. urges that residents continue to protect themselves
against mosquitoes by taking the proper precautions.
is the month when we see the peak in mosquito populations and the
increased likelihood of getting bitten, said Dr. Lacy. "The
risk of WNV infection increases as summer continues. People should
take steps now to eliminate mosquito-breeding areas around their
homes and protect themselves and their families from infection."
Lacy recommends certain precautions residents should take now including
eliminating standing water on their property (clearing clogged gutters,
draining flower pots, emptying kiddie pools, recycling old car tires,
etc.), and repairing window and door screens.
should also apply insect repellent to their clothing and exposed
skin in accordance with labeling directions, wear long sleeved shirts
and pants when outdoors, and limit outdoor activities at dawn, dusk
and during the evening.
total, 47 New Jersey residents have been approved for testing for
WNV this season. Five of those tested negatives and the other 42
individuals who were tested 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.
testing for WNV is being conducted at the New Jersey Department
of Health and Senior Services Public Health and Environmental Laboratories
in Trenton. Positive tests are sent to the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention for confirmation.
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.
help control the spread of the virus, the Department of Environmental
Protection's (DEP) Mosquito Control Program has developed a series
of methods to reduce mosquito populations. These include: a bio-control
program to stock freshwater areas around the state with mosquito
larvae-eating fish; a wetlands management program to eliminate breeding
habitat while improving wetland ecology; and, a state equipment
program that applies approved mosquito-specific insecticides.
department has heightened its monitoring efforts and continues to
employ environmentally-sound methods to reduce mosquito populations
around the state," said DEP Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell.
"While such activities help control the spread of the virus,
individual precaution remains crucial in avoiding current threats
date, 384 crows have been accepted for testing by the Department
of Health and Senior Services Public Health and Environmental Laboratories.
Of those tested, 154 crows found in 16 counties have been confirmed
positive for the presence of WNV. Positive crows have been found
in Atlantic (3), Bergen (11), Burlington (5), Camden (5), Essex
(1), Gloucester (2), Hunterdon (2), Mercer (10), Middlesex (7),
Monmouth (50), Morris (15), Ocean (31), Passaic (6), Salem (1),
Somerset (4), and Warren (1) Counties.
department has also received 137 bird samples (mostly crows) deemed
unsatisfactory for testing and has been notified of 521 dead or
ill birds (mostly crows) not submitted for testing due to their
condition. However, at this point in the season, approximately 90%
of the crows that are tested are positive for WNV.
date, 4428 mosquito pools have been tested in the state laboratory
for the presence of WNV and 77 pools found in 17 counties have tested
positive for WNV. Positive mosquitoes were collected in Atlantic
(1), Bergen (7), Burlington (2), Camden (4), Cape May (2), Gloucester
(1), Hudson (1), Hunterdon (1), Mercer (2), Middlesex (5), Monmouth
(6), Morris (14), Ocean (11), Passaic (14), Salem (1), Somerset
(2), and Union (3) Counties.
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 Laboratory (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa
for confirmation. For more information, visit the Department of
Agriculture website at www.state.nj.us/agriculture.
There are no WNV- positive horses to date this season.
1999 and 2001, lab testing confirmed WNV infection in 18 New Jersey
residents, with two resulting fatalities. The virus has also been
detected in mosquitoes, horses, or crows and other birds in every
county in New Jersey.
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
CDC, the State Mosquito Control Commission, the Rutgers Mosquito
Research and Control Unit, and local health and mosquito control