Use extra precaution protecting yourself from mosquitoes in New Jersey! They could be carrying a deadly virus.

The New Jersey Department of Health and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection are warning New Jersey residents of mosquitoes that could potentially be carrying a virus that's already killed one person - the West Nile virus.

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What is the West Nile virus?

According to the CDC:

West Nile virus (WNV) is the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the continental United States.  It is most commonly spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. Cases of WNV occur during mosquito season, which starts in the summer and continues through fall.

The CDC also says that most people who contract the virus ( 8 in 10 people) don't feel sick, but about 1 in 5 cases report having a fever and other symptoms like headaches, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or a rash.

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There have been 7 other reported cases in New Jersey, in Bergen County, Middlesex County, and Camden County. Six of those cases have been hospitalized, according to NBC Philadelphia.

About 1 out of 10 people who get severely ill resulting from the virus affecting the central nervous system die, according to the CDC.

 

And we're right in the thick of West Nile virus season in New Jersey - most cases in the state are typically reported in August and September. 

How can I avoid contracting WNV?

The CDC recommends:

  • Use insect repellent
  • Wear loose-fitting, long sleeved shirts and pants
  • Use screens on windows and doors.
  • Empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out items that hold water to prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs
  • Cover strollers and baby carriers with netting.

For more information about the West Nile virus, and how to protect yourself from contracting it in New Jersey, check NJDEP's information page. 


 

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