Test Results as of September 5, 2002
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A 77-year-old Ewing man has tested positive for the West Nile virus. Serum and spinal fluid samples tested positive for West Nile virus in the Department's Public Health and Environmental Laboratories. Final confirmation of this case will be made through testing by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Mercer County man was admitted to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital at Hamilton on August 21 with symptoms including fever, stiff neck and changes in mental status. He remains hospitalized in serious, but stable condition.

  • More crows and mosquitoes have tested positive for the presence of West Nile virus (WNV).

Human Testing

  • In total, 73 residents have been approved for WNV testing this season. Blood and/or spinal fluid samples from these individuals are in the process of being tested for the presence of WNV. 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.

  • To date, 32 are negative, 40 tests on people are pending and 1 positive.

  • 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 confirmation.

Crow, American Kestrel and Other Bird and Small Mammal Testing

  • To date, 834 crows have been accepted for testing by the Department of Health and Senior Services' Public Health and Environmental Laboratory. Of those tested, 569 crows found in 19 counties have been confirmed positive for the presence of WNV. Positive crows have been found in Atlantic (20), Bergen (70), Burlington (42), Camden (20), Cape May (1), Cumberland (6), Essex (4), Gloucester (24), Hunterdon (8), Mercer (39), Middlesex (37), Monmouth (135), Morris (48), Ocean (51), Passaic (23), Salem (7), Somerset (18), Union (11), and Warren (5) Counties.
  • The department has also received 233 bird samples (mostly crows) deemed unsatisfactory for testing and has been notified of 909 dead or ill birds (mostly crows) not submitted for testing due to their condition.

Mosquito Testing

  • To date, 5,556 mosquito pools have been tested in the state laboratory for the presence of WNV and 203 pools found in 19 counties have tested positive for WNV. Positive mosquitoes were collected in Atlantic (15) Bergen (58), Burlington (8), Camden (4), Cape May (2), Essex (1), Gloucester (2), Hudson (1), Hunterdon (3), Mercer (2), Middlesex (21), Monmouth (17), Morris (15), Ocean (12), Passaic (29), Salem (1), Somerset (4), Union (6) and Warren (2) Counties.
Horse Testing
  • Equine testing is conducted by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture's animal health laboratory in Trenton and positive results are sent to the National Veterinary Services Lab (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa for confirmation. For more information, visit the Department of Agriculture website at

Additional Information & Advisories

  • Among the personal precautions residents can take now are such measures as eliminating standing water on their own property (such as clearing clogged gutters, draining flower pots, recycling old car tires, etc.), and repairing window and door screens. In the spring, summer, and fall residents can spray insect repellent on their clothing and exposed skin in accordance with labeling directions, wear long sleeved shirts and pants when outdoors, or curb outdoor activities at dawn, dusk and during the evening.

  • 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 infection generally causes no symptoms or just mild, flu-like symptoms; however, the elderly are at higher risk of more severe disease.

  • Between 1999 and 2002, lab testing confirmed WNV infection in 18 New Jersey residents, and one 2002 case pending confirmation, with two resulting fatalities. The virus has also been detected in mosquitoes, horses, or crows and other birds in every county in New Jersey.

  • New Jersey's WNV surveillance, control and prevention activities 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 CDC, the State Mosquito Control Commission, the Rutgers Mosquito Research and Control Unit, and local health and mosquito control agencies.


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