Wednesday, October 20, 2021
A mosquito sample collected on October 13 from the 100 block of W. Faunce Landing Road in Absecon has tested positive for West Nile virus, according to Atlantic County public health officials.
West Nile virus has been confirmed in 19 mosquito collections this year from various areas of the county, including Buena Borough, Egg Harbor City, Galloway, Hammonton, Hamilton Township, Mullica, Northfield, Somers Point, Ventnor, Weymouth and now Absecon.
For the first time since 2019, Atlantic County has also reported a human case of West Nile virus.
West Nile virus is carried by infected mosquitoes and can be transmitted to birds, animals and humans. There is no vaccine or specific treatment for West Nile virus. The best way to prevent the disease is to avoid mosquito bites.
Most infected humans will not develop symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control, but those who do may experience a fever, headache and body aches, skin rashes and swollen lymph glands.
Most patients will recover completely within two weeks. In more severe infections, intensive supportive therapy may be needed. About one of every 150 people infected develop a serious illness.
Residents and business owners can take steps to reduce mosquito populations on their properties by emptying or changing outdoor standing water at least weekly to stop mosquito breeding. Areas that may need attention include flower pots, birdbaths, clogged rain gutters, plastic wading pools and wheelbarrows, and any containers or trash that may be difficult to see such as under bushes, homes or around building exteriors. Contact with mosquitoes can also be reduced by keeping windows closed or ensuring window screens are in good repair if windows are opened.
Individuals should also use an insect repellent whenever going outdoors. 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 the 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 healthcare provider prior to using on children.
For more information about West Nile Virus, visit 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.