West Nile Virus

Report within 24 hours of Diagnosis to the Local Health Department.

West Nile virus is an infection that is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Identified in the United States in 1999, West Nile virus is seen most often during the summer and early fall months. Anyone can get infected with West Nile virus. People over age 50 and people with weak immune systems are at greater risk of developing severe illness. Mild symptoms are flu-like and may include fever, headache, body aches and sometimes a rash. Severe symptoms can include high fever, stiff neck and swelling of the brain. There is no specific treatment for West Nile virus. The best way to prevent the disease is to avoid mosquito bites.


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Education Materials
Laboratory Testing and Guidance

Routine bird testing for WNV has been discontinued, but it is still recommended to report dead or ill birds to the county mosquito control agency; testing birds for WNV remains available by special request, [pdf]

Dead-Ill Bird Report/Laboratory Submission Form

Wild Birds: Immediately report observations of sick or dead wild birds to the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife at 908-236-2118 or USDA-Wildlife Services at 908-735-5654 ext. 2. Do not handle sick or dead wild birds.

Poultry: Poultry owners (commercial producers and backyard enthusiasts) should immediately report sick or unexplained poultry deaths to the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, Division of Animal Health at 609-671-6400 or email state.veterinanrian@ag.state.nj.us. For small flocks, this can include deaths of one bird per day for two days in a row.

  • Form A - Approval Protocol for West Nile Virus Human Specimen Testing [Word] [PDF]
  • Form B - Diagnostic Criteria for Testing of Suspect Human Cases of West Nile Virus Infection in New Jersey [Word] [PDF]
  • Form C - Submission Protocol for Testing of Human Sera and Cerebrospinal Fluid Specimens[Word] [PDF]
  • Patient Intake Form
  • Request for Viral Serology
Last Reviewed: 12/18/2018