New In This Update
- Final testing results for the 2002 season.
- In total, 167 residents have been approved for WNV testing this season.
Blood and/or spinal fluid samples from these individuals were tested
for the presence of WNV. These individuals either had symptoms or signs
that met the established WNV testing criteria.
- As of March 4, 2003, of the 167 humans tested, 90 were negative,
52 had no specimen submitted for testing, and 25 were 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
- During the 2002 season, 1,064 crows have been accepted for testing
by the Department of Health and Senior Services’ Public Health
and Environmental Laboratory. Of those tested, 798 crows found in 20
counties have been confirmed positive for the presence of WNV. Positive
crows have been found in Atlantic (31), Bergen (85), Burlington (61),
Camden (26), Cape May (4), Cumberland (19), Essex (9), Gloucester (56),
Hunterdon (12), Mercer (43), Middlesex (51), Monmouth (157), Morris
(79), Ocean (70), Passaic (25), Salem (18), Somerset (24), Sussex (2),
Union (18), and Warren (8) Counties.
- The department has also received 780 bird samples (mostly crows) deemed
unsatisfactory for testing and has been notified of 1,592 dead or ill
birds (mostly crows) not submitted for testing due to their condition.
- During the 2002 season, 9,672 mosquito pools have been tested in
the state laboratory for the presence of WNV and 556 pools found in
21 counties have tested positive for WNV. Positive mosquitoes were collected
in Atlantic (27) Bergen (132), Burlington (12), Camden (5), Cape May
(3), Cumberland (37), Essex (20), Gloucester (24), Hudson (8), Hunterdon
(10), Mercer (7), Middlesex (36), Monmouth (58), Morris (36), Ocean
(24), Passaic (49), Salem (14), Somerset (23), Sussex (16), Union (11)
and Warren (4) Counties.
- 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
- The risk of WNV infection continues during the fall and people should
take steps now to eliminate mosquito-breeding areas around their homes
and protect themselves and their families from infection.
- 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 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.
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 2001, lab testing confirmed WNV infection in 18
New Jersey residents, 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.