TRENTON - A 77-year-old Ewing man has tested positive for the West
Nile virus, becoming the first human case in New Jersey this season,
Health and Senior Services Commissioner Clifton R. Lacy, M.D., announced
Mercer County case is the 19th case in New Jersey since 1999. Nationwide,
30 states, including New Jersey, have reported a total of 737 cases.
There have been 40 deaths in 14 states as of yesterday.
and spinal fluid samples tested positive for West Nile virus in
the Department's Public Health and Environmental Laboratories. The
state lab received specimens on August 28 and completed testing
yesterday. Final confirmation of this case will be made through
testing by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Mercer County man was admitted to Robert Wood Johnson University
Hospital at Hamilton on August 21 with symptoms including fever,
stiff neck and changes in mental status. He currently remains hospitalized
in serious, but stable condition.
patient has not had recent travel or blood transfusions. He was
active in his backyard in the weeks preceding his hospitalization.
people infected with West Nile virus experience only mild symptoms
or no symptoms at all. Some individuals - such as the elderly and
those with compromised immune systems -- may develop more serious
illness," Commissioner Lacy said.
that the West Nile virus has been widespread this season among birds
and mosquitoes, a human case of this disease is not unexpected,''
season's first human case of West Nile virus infection in New Jersey
should remind residents that they can protect themselves from infection
by using insect repellent according to labeled directions and wearing
long-sleeved clothing, especially at dawn, dusk and during the evening,"
he added. "Residents should also keep window screens in good
repair and eliminate standing water where mosquitoes can breed."
far this year, 73 New Jersey residents, including the Mercer County
resident, have met the state's testing criteria. Of those, 32 are
negative for West Nile virus and 40 are pending test results.
of 834 crows tested, 569 in 19 counties have tested positive. Additionally,
5,556 mosquito pools have been tested and 203 tested positive in
Mercer County, 39 crows/birds and two mosquito pools have tested
positive for West Nile.
Nile virus is an arboviral disease that is transmitted through the
bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes pick up the virus by feeding
on an infected bird.
human cases of West Nile virus have been reported around the country,
New Jersey's history of comprehensive mosquito control plays a vital
role in greatly reducing residents' risk of contracting this disease,"
added Eddy Bresnitz, M.D., state epidemiologist and assistant commissioner.
"We also rely on community physicians for recognizing and promptly
Jersey's West Nile virus surveillance, control and prevention activities
involve the coordinated efforts of a number of federal, state and
local agencies. These include the state Departments of Health and
Senior Services, Environmental Protection and Agriculture; the State
Mosquito Control Commission; the Rutgers Mosquito Research and Control
Unit; the CDC; and local health and mosquito control agencies.
more information on WNV, visit the state's home page at www.state.nj.us/health
and click on "West Nile virus.''