Two New Jersey residents were infected with West Nile Virus, state health officials said.
The first was a man in his forties from Essex County, who tested positive earlier this month, and the other a man in his seventies from Monmouth County, the New Jersey Health Department said in a release.
“While WNV activity in mosquitoes has been much lower than what we have seen in previous seasons, it is important that residents continue to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites especially since most WNV human cases occur in early September,” Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said.
Meanwhile, people over the age of 50 or who have weakened immune systems have a higher risk of developing the severe form of the illness, which comprises about one in 150 cases.
These cases come with serious symptoms such as disorientation, severe headaches, coma, tremors, muscle weakness, high fever and/or paralysis, officials said.
Residents can reduce their chance of exposure to mosquito-borne diseases by taking the following precautions:
- Use insect repellant registered by the EPA
- Limit outdoor time at dawn and dusk when mosquitos are most active
- Wear long sleeves and long pants
- Cover areas with mosquito netting when possible
“All of us can take part in protecting public health by taking simple steps to control the mosquito population," New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe said.
“The most important step for the home owner is to eliminate standing water on their property, to reduce areas where mosquitoes may breed and grow. Checking flower pots, pet food and water dishes, birdbaths, swimming pool covers and other places that hold water can significantly reduce the risk of mosquito bites and the illnesses they can carry.
"We appreciate the continued collaboration of our colleagues at the Department of Health, Department of Agriculture, Rutgers, public health workers and the county mosquito control agencies who are on the front lines working to reduce New Jersey's mosquito population."
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