ATLANTIC COUNTY, N.J. – Atlantic County officials have found that a mosquito sample from Northfield has tested positive for West Nile virus.
This is the first confirmed positive mosquito sample found in the county this year, but officials say that it is not unusual to find a positive sample of West Nile virus in the summer and fall, especially after significant rainfall.
There are no reported human cases of the virus at this time, according to Patricia Diamond, Atlantic County Public Health Officer.
“Our mosquito control efforts are in high gear this time of year to reduce the annoyance of mosquitoes and protect our residents and visitors from the illnesses they may spread,” said County Executive Dennis Levinson.
Representatives from the Atlantic County Office of Mosquito Control collected the sample from the 1200 Block of Zion Road in Northfield last week. County public health and mosquito control officials are carrying out mosquito surveillance, implementing additional control measures and providing educational materials to area residents and businesses.
The West Nile virus is carried by infected mosquitoes and can be transmitted to birds, animals, and humans.
Residents can reduce their risk and the spread of West Nile virus by reducing their exposure to mosquito bites and by using these tips:
- 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 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.
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: 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.