Three New Jersey men have West Nile virus, one hospitalized, officials say

Three men in New Jersey tested positive for West Nile virus earlier this year, making it the state’s first case in 2022, state officials said Thursday.

The man tested positive in Bergen, Morris and Ocean counties, according to a joint statement by the state’s health, agriculture and environmental protection departments. Two of them were in their 50s and one was in their 80s, all of whom were hospitalized. As of Thursday, one remains in hospital while the other two are recovering at home.

The virus, which is spread by mosquitoes that have eaten infected birds, was detected in 293 mosquito pools and red-tailed hawks in New Jersey this year, officials said.

Eight human infections are reported in the state each year, and 36 human infections were reported last year, officials said. Mosquito viral activity has increased this year, in line with the five-year average trend.

In 2018, 61 people were infected. The Ministry of Health reported that this marked the highest number of cases ever reported in the province. Three people died from the disease in Bergen County, which had the highest number of cases reported that year.

“August and September are the months with the highest number of West Nile virus cases in New Jersey,” New Jersey Health Commissioner Judith Persicily said in a statement. , wearing long sleeves and long pants, and avoiding going outdoors at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.”

Early symptoms of the virus can be confused with COVID-19 or other common viral illnesses, state officials said. Laboratory tests are needed to confirm it, but there is no specific treatment for it.

Many people who get the virus don’t get sick or develop symptoms, but when they do, they develop flu-like illnesses and more serious symptoms such as coma, convulsions, and a swollen brain that can lead to death. may be included. the department said. People over the age of 50 and people with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of severe illness.

Not only can this virus harm humans, it can also harm certain animals. It can also affect the nervous system of horses. No horse cases have been reported so far this year.

Residents, business owners, and contractors should reduce mosquito populations on their premises by emptying or replacing standing water at least once a week to prevent mosquito breeding. was asked to take action.

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Contact Chris Sheldon at: [email protected].

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