Test Results as of 9/21/00
- In total, blood and/or spinal fluid samples from 34
residents have been or are in the process of being tested for the
presence of WNV (Click here to view list). To date, 2 tests were
positive*, 12 were negative and 20 are pending. These
individuals either had symptoms or signs that met the established
WNV testing criteria or exhibited most of the symptoms and are
from counties where dead crows and/or mosquitoes with the virus
have been discovered.
- New Jersey's positive human cases include a 43-year old
Jersey City man whose test was verified by the federal Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Sept.1. *In
addition, a 54-year old man with dual residency in Brooklyn,
N.Y., and Cliffside Park, Bergen County, tested positive for WNV.
The 54-year old man became ill Aug. 31 and was admitted to a New
York City hospital on Sept. 4. His WNV test was conducted by the
New York City Health Department and verified by the CDC on Sept.
- Human testing for WNV is being conducted at the New Jersey
Department of Health and Senior Services' Public Health and
Environmental Laboratory in Trenton and at public health labs in
other states. Testing results are sent to the CDC for
- The department has also been contacted by doctors of more
than 2 dozen patients with symptoms that did not meet all WNV
testing criteria. The physicians were given the option of
sending samples of their patients' blood to private laboratories
for analysis using the St. Louis Encephalitis (SLE) screening
test. Since SLE and WNV are closely related viruses, a WNV case
will most likely react to a SLE test. The department has not
been notified of any positive SLE tests to date.
Crow, Hawk & Falcon Testing
- To date, 838 birds (837 crows and a cockatiel) found in 16
counties have tested positive for the presence of WNV. Positive
birds have been found in Bergen (179), Burlington (3), Camden
(2), Cape May (2), Essex (89), Gloucester (2), Hudson (60),
Hunterdon (3), Mercer (5), Middlesex (162), Monmouth (129),
Morris (26), Ocean (6), Passaic (63), Somerset (13) and Union
(94) Counties. The tests were conducted at the Department of
Health and Senior Services' lab in Trenton. A total of 1,527
crows have been accepted for testing this year.
Mosquito & House Sparrow Testing
- Twelve mosquito pools collected in Bergen (5), Essex (1),
Middlesex (2), Monmouth (3) and Passaic (1) Counties have tested
positive for the presence of WNV. In total, 1,678 mosquito pools
from all 21 counties have been collected by the Rutgers Mosquito
Research and Control Unit and tested by the Department of Health
and Senior Services and/or the CDC.
- In addition to mosquitoes, the CDC also analyzed blood
samples taken from 541 house sparrows collected in Bergen,
Passaic and Sussex County in late July. No sparrows with WNV
were discovered in New Jersey.
Sentinel Chicken Testing
- Blood samples taken weekly from sentinel chicken flocks
placed in all 21 counties and tested by the New Jersey Department
of Agriculture have all tested negative for the presence of WNV
- Three horses from Atlantic, Cape May and Ocean Counties have
tested positive for WNV. The tests were conducted by the New
Jersey Department of Agriculture's animal health laboratory in
Trenton and were confirmed by the National Veterinary Services
Laboratory in Ames, Iowa.
Additional Information & Advisories
- New Jersey residents can take personal precautions to
minimize their WNV exposure risk. Such measures include spraying
insect repellent on their clothing and exposed skin in accordance
with labeling directions and wearing long sleeved shirts and
pants when outdoors. Residents can also curb outdoor activities
at dawn, dusk and during the evening. Residents should also
eliminate standing water on their own property that can serve as
a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Windows screens should also be
used and kept in good repair.
- The West Nile virus, an arboviral disease, is transmitted
through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by
feeding on an infected bird. WNV is not directly transmitted from
birds to humans or from person to person. WNV infection generally
causes no symptoms or just mild, flu-like symptoms; however, the
elderly are at higher risk of more severe disease.
- The West Nile virus was first isolated and identified in the
Western Hemisphere by the CDC in September 1999 in birds found
dead in New York City and Westchester County. The virus was
responsible for 62 human cases of encephalitis in New York State
and seven deaths. This year, there have been 11 human cases in
New York City, including 8 in Staten Island.
- New Jersey's WNV surveillance, control and prevention
efforts involve the coordinated efforts of a number of federal,
state and local agencies. These include the New Jersey
Departments of Health and Senior Services, Environmental
Protection, and Agriculture, the federal Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC), the State Mosquito Control
Commission, the Rutgers Mosquito Research and Control Unit, and
local health and mosquito control agencies.
- For more information on West Nile virus, visit the State
Department of Health and Senior Services' website at
www.state.nj.us/health, the State Department of Environmental
Protection's site at www.state.nj.us/dep/mosquito, the State
Department of Agriculture's site at www.state.nj.us/agriculture,
or the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's site