Thursday, September 9, 2021
Five recent collections of mosquito samples by the Atlantic County Office of Mosquito Control have tested positive for West Nile virus, one of which also tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE).
The samples were collected from 10th & Duerer Street in Egg Harbor City, Birch Grove Park in Northfield and two sites in Hammonton – one at West End Avenue/Pleasant Street and another at Mill Run Drive. A collection from Holly Street in Hamilton Township tested positive for both viruses.
So far this year, a total of 10 mosquito collections at six sampling locations in the county have tested positive for West Nile virus and eight collections from six sampling locations have tested positive for EEE.
There are no reported human cases of West Nile virus or EEE in Atlantic County at this time. The New Jersey Department of Agriculture has, however, confirmed the death of two unvaccinated horses in Atlantic County that contracted EEE and had to be euthanized.
County public health and mosquito control officials are conducting mosquito surveillance, implementing additional control measures and providing educational materials to area residents and businesses.
Both viruses are transmitted by infected mosquitoes. Health officials encourage residents to reduce their risk of infection by reducing their exposure to mosquito bites. Some tips for doing so include:
* Use 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 that 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.
Mosquitoes do not travel far from where they breed. 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.
For more information about West Nile virus, visit the Atlantic County Web site at: www.aclink.org/publichealth or call the Division of Public Health at (609) 645-5971. If you need assistance in removing stagnant puddles or floodwater from your property, call the Office of Mosquito Control at (609) 645-5948.