For Immediate Release
Thursday, August 16, 2012
West Nile Virus Confirmed in Galloway Mosquito Sample and Dead Bird
The Atlantic County Division of Public Health has confirmed West Nile virus in a blackbird and a mosquito sample collected on the 200 block of W. Donna Drive in Galloway Township within the last two weeks.
Two prior mosquito samples tested positive for the mosquito-borne virus earlier this summer, one sample from Northfield and another sample from Egg Harbor City.
West Nile virus can be transmitted to birds, animals and humans from infected mosquitoes. Crows are particularly vulnerable to the virus. Testing crows and other birds that have been dead for no more than 24 hours can help health officials determine if the virus is present in a particular region.
To date, 43 states have reported West Nile virus infections in people, birds, or mosquitoes, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Atlantic County continues to conduct mosquito surveillance and implement control measures to reduce mosquito populations and the risk of infection to humans. Symptoms of the disease may last for 3-6 days and include: abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, headache, lack of appetite, muscle aches, nausea, rash, sore throat, swollen lymph glands and vomiting. Risk factors for developing a more severe form of West Nile virus include: conditions that weaken the immune system, such as HIV, organ transplants, and recent chemotherapy; older or very young age; and pregnancy.
Health officials encourage residents to prevent the spread of West Nile virus by following these simple steps:
* Avoid mosquito bites by using an insect repellent whenever going outdoors. Repellents are an important tool to assist people in protecting themselves from mosquito-borne diseases. The Centers for Disease Control recommends the use of products containing active ingredients which have been registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for use as repellents applied to skin and clothing and approved for efficacy and human safety when applied as directed. Be sure to follow product directions carefully and consult with your child’s doctor prior to using on children.
* Rid properties of mosquito breeding grounds by draining standing water.
Buckets, bird baths, flower pots and other containers can hold water and provide an ideal environment for mosquitoes. Be sure to empty these containers regularly.
* Clean clogged gutters; check and repair screen doors.
* Report dead birds to the Atlantic County Division of Public Health by calling 609-645-5971.
For more information about West Nile Virus, visit the Atlantic County Web site at: www.aclink.org/publichealth or call our Mosquito Control and West Nile Virus hotline at 877-643-2287. For information or assistance in draining standing water from your property, call the Atlantic County Office of Mosquito Control at 609-645-5948.
For more information, click here.