WARREN COUNTY, NJ – West Nile Virus has been found in five Warren County towns this summer, according to county officials.
The most recent mosquito samples that were collected on August 1 in traps from Riverfront Park off of Willow Grove St in Hackettstown and samples collected on July 25 from East Baldwin St in Hackettstown tested positive for the disease, according to the Warren County Mosquito commission.
The July sample was tested on July 31 and the August sample was tested on August 7 at the New Jersey Public Health and Environmental Lab in Trenton.
The traps used are specifically designed to catch Culex mosquitoes, which are the type responsible for transmitting West Nile virus, particularly from bird to bird.
Treatments in Hackettstown were scheduled on August 4 and August 9 and may be scheduled again if needed, county officials said.
July and August are typical for Warren County to see West Nile virus activity in mosquitoes.
So far this year, a total of eight samples of mosquitoes have tested positive in Warren County; Oxford (3), Harmony (1), Franklin (1), Hope (1) and Hackettstown (2).
Mid to late August is peak time for humans and other mammals to acquire this virus. No people in New Jersey have tested positive for West Nile Virus yet this year. Subsequent trapping for adult mosquitoes is taking place to survey for mosquito species more likely to bite people.
Residents are urged to help reduce their risk of contracting mosquito-borne diseases by following these guidelines:
- Don’t produce mosquitoes on your property. Dump or drain standing water. Mosquitoes can’t begin their life without water.
- Defend yourself against mosquitoes using repellents containing DEET, Picaridin, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.
- Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are present, typically Dawn and Dusk.
- Report neglected swimming pools by calling 908-453-3585 or visiting .warrencountymosquito.org. Anonymous calls accepted. Just one neglected pool can produce more than 1 million mosquitoes and affect people up to five miles away.
West Nile virus symptoms of the mild form include fever, headache, tiredness, body aches, and swollen lymph glands. While the illness can be as short as a few days, even healthy people have reported being sick for several weeks.
Less than one percent of individuals (about 1 in 150 people) infected with West Nile virus will develop severe illness. The severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. These symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent. West Nile virus infection can be fatal.
Additional information can be found at these websites:
- Updated WNV activity in the county can be found at warrencountymosquito.org/diseasesurveillance.php
- Information on WNV, repellents etc. from the Centers for Disease Control at cdc.gov/features/StopMosquitoes/
- Notice of spraying to be done for adult mosquitoes in the county can be found at warrencountymosquito.org/adulticide.php
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