Atlantic County Reports Positive WNV Mosquito Sample

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture
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Atlantic County has reported finding a mosquito sample in Northfield that has tested positive for West Nile Virus. State laboratory testing confirmed evidence of the mosquito-borne disease on September 8, 2009.

Representatives from the Atlantic County Office of Mosquito Control collected the samples on September 2 in the 1200 block of Zion Road, Northfield. County Public Health and Mosquito Control officials are conducting mosquito surveillance, implementing additional control measures and providing educational materials to area residents.

This is the second positive mosquito sample site found in Atlantic County this year while no birds have yet tested positive for the virus within the county. Statewide there have been 199 positive mosquito samples and 21 birds have tested positive for the disease this year.

West Nile Virus is a mosquito-borne virus commonly found in Africa, West Asia and the Middle East. It was first identified in the United States in August of 1999 in New York State. West Nile Virus can be transmitted to birds, animals and humans from infected mosquitoes. Crows are particularly vulnerable to the virus. Testing crows and blue jays that have been dead for no more than 24 hours can help health officials determine if the virus is present in a particular region.

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"It is not uncommon to find mosquito samples positive for West Nile Virus during this time of year, especially after such a wet summer,” explained County Health Officer Patricia Diamond. "The risk of human West Nile Virus infection to Atlantic County residents remains relatively low. As of September 11, there have been no human cases of West Nile Virus in New Jersey.”

Health officials encourage residents to prevent the spread of West Nile Virus by following these simple steps:

* Avoid mosquito bites by using an insect repellent whenever going outdoors. Repellents are an important tool to assist people in protecting themselves from mosquito-borne diseases. The Centers for Disease Control recommends the use of products containing active ingredients which have been registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for use as repellents applied to skin and clothing and approved for efficacy and human safety when applied as directed. Be sure to follow product directions carefully and consult with your child’s doctor prior to using on children.

* Rid properties of mosquito breeding grounds by draining standing water. Buckets, bird baths, flower pots and other containers can hold water and provide an ideal environment for mosquitoes. Be sure to empty these containers regularly.

* Clean clogged gutters; check and repair screen doors.

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