West Nile Virus Found In New Jersey

Two crows found in New Jersey have tested positive for the presence of the West Nile virus (WNV), Health and Senior Services Commissioner Christine Grant announced Monday.

Twenty-two birds have been tested so far this season by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services. The 21 crows and one hawk submitted for testing came from 14 counties around the state.

The two WNV positive crows were collected on April 30 and May 2 in Bergen and Middlesex Counties, respectively. Both counties have been conducting mosquito surveillance and larval control since late March-early April. As a result of the positive findings, both counties will be increasing their surveillance for larval and adult mosquitoes in the immediate vicinity where the crows were found. The counties have no immediate plans to conduct any adult mosquito spraying. This strategy complies with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations.

In 2000, a total of six New Jersey residents became ill and one died due to WNV infection. The virus was also detected in mosquitoes, horses, crows and other birds in 20 of the state's 21 counties. The virus was detected for the first time in the Western Hemisphere in late summer and early fall of 1999.

Testing results have been posted on a new state WNV resource web page accessible through the New Jersey home page at http://www.state.nj.us. The site, designed and maintained by the New Jersey Office of Information Technology, contains West Nile virus information, testing results and helpful links.

West Nile virus, an arboviral disease, is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. WNV is not directly transmitted from birds or horses to humans, from horse to horse, or from person to person. Infected horses might not show any symptoms of the disease. When they do appear, symptoms may include the animal being "off his feed," or exhibiting neurological abnormalities.

For more on WNV, visit http://www.thehorse.com/TopicSearch/Default.aspx?n=West+Nile+Virus+(WNV)&nID=6&ID=79.

About the Author

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief, received a B.A. in Journalism and Equestrian Studies from Averett College in Danville, Virginia. A Pony Club and 4-H graduate, her background is in eventing, and she is schooling her recently retired Thoroughbred racehorse, Happy, toward a career in that discipline. She also enjoys traveling, photography, cycling, and cooking in her free time.

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