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Take Steps to Keep from Contracting West Nile Virus

October 19, 2021

Heavy rains and flooding have made it a bad year for West Nile virus, with one death and 14 confirmed cases of the mosquito- borne disease in New Jersey as of late September.

“We are seeing an increase in mosquitoes at present due to the recent flooding from Ida,” said Shawn LaTourette, the commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Protection.

The department reported that one person infected with disease was in Somerset County. The death was in Camden County — a man in his 60s. State officials are testing mosquito pools in each county. Somerset had a total of 75 pools test positive for harboring mosquitoes with West Nile as of late September — compared to nine pools testing positive in 2020.

To protect against mosquito borne diseases, residents should: Wear long pants and long sleeved shirts when outdoors — particularly at dawn and dusk; Repair holes in screens on windows/ doors; Use mosquito repellent with DEET (if not allergic); and eliminate water from wheel barrows, blocked rain gutters on your property. Report mosquito concerns to your local mosquito control hotline at 908.541.5021.

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Most people who are infected show mild symptoms: low-grade fever, headache, and swollen glands. More severe symptoms include: high fever, stiff neck, muscle weakness, brain inflammation, coma, and rarely, death. Call your doctor if you have symptoms.


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