Residents are asked to report standing water and dead birds to officials, and to take measures to avoid mosquito bites.
A 92-year-old Morris County resident who tested positive for the virus died this past weekend and another New Jersey resident in Gloucester County also died from the disease in August.
The Madison Health Department sent a news release Thursday saying residents should use insect repellent, limit time outdoors at dawn and dusk, remove standing water, and keep mosquito netting over infant seats and strollers, among other measures.
While one human case has been reported in Morris County, a total of six human cases have been reported around the state as of Aug. 30, according to the news release. West Nile Virus has been detected in some birds and in 390 mosquito pools around the state, including 22 pools in Morris County.
While West Nile Virus infection generally causes no symptoms or mild flu-like symptoms, less than one percent of people with the virus develop a more severe form of the disease. Symptoms of the more severe disease can include severe headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, paralysis and death. The elderly are at higher risk of more severe disease.
Cases reported by the New Jersey Department of Health as of Aug. 30
Six human cases of WNV have been identified in the following four counties: Bergen (1), Burlington (1), Camden (2), Gloucester (1) and Morris (1).
19 birds tested positive for WNV from 8 counties, including Atlantic (2), Burlington (1), Cape May (2), Hunterdon (2), Middlesex (1), Monmouth (1), Ocean (9) and Warren (1).
390 mosquito pools tested positive for WNV from 19 counties, including: Atlantic (1), Bergen (62), Burlington (16), Camden (25), Cape May (13), Essex (3), Gloucester (33), Hudson (43), Hunterdon (19), Mercer (24), Middlesex (23), Monmouth (4), Morris (22), Ocean (10), Passaic (7), Somerset (10), Sussex (10), Union (53) and Warren (12).
Tips from the Madison Health Department
Since West Nile Virus is transmitted primarily by the bite of an infective mosquito, residents are advised to continue to take the following precautions to reduce the risk of mosquito bites:
• When outdoors, use insect repellent containing an EPA-registered active ingredient. The gold standard for mosquito repellent is DEET, which may be used on adults and children greater than two months of age. Other repellents recommended by the CDC for use against mosquitoes that may transmit WNV include picaridin, IR3535 and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-methanediol products. Oil of lemon eucalyptus products should not be used on children less than three years of age. Be sure to apply insect repellent in accordance with the instructions on the product label.
• Limit time outdoors at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active, or wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants during those times.
• Keep mosquito netting over infant seats and strollers.
• Eliminate standing water where mosquitoes can lay eggs, such as flower pots, tire swings, wading pools, wheelbarrows, buckets and cans. Change the water in birdbaths and pet dishes every few days. If you wish to save rainwater to use in your garden it should be used up within a week. Maintain gutters and drain pipes to prevent clogs and standing water. Keep swimming pools chlorinated and pool covers tight to prevent creating pockets of stagnant water. Mosquitoes that breed around the home are primarily responsible for transmitting West Nile Virus to humans!
• Install or repair window and door screens.
Morris County residents may report mosquito problems and standing water to the Morris County Mosquito Commission at 973-285-6450. Additional information may be obtained from the State Department of Health and Senior Services website at http://www.state.nj.us/health/cd/westnile/enceph.htm , CDC web site at http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/ or at the Morris County Mosquito Commission website at www.morrismosquito.org. The Morris County Mosquito Commission website also provides up-to-date information on where and when mosquito spraying will be occurring.