Health Department Warns Of Potentially Deadly Virus Spreading In New Jersey

The New Jersey Department of Health has issued a warning after a resident died of the West Nile virus – an often fatal mosquito-borne illness.

We are currently entering the peak season for the virus, and though annual cases are generally low, it does pose a significant danger for people. With rainfall and warm weather expected to continue for the next little bit, the virus does have the potential of spreading further.

New Jersey health officials say that they are routinely conducting tests on mosquito pools to detect the presence of the virus, and have been seeing relatively high number of infected mosquitos. The mosquitos themselves contract the virus when they feed on a bird infected with West Nile virus.

Acting NJ Health Commissioner Dr. Kaitlan Baston advises residents to use insect repellant when outdoors, especially between dusk and dawn, which is when mosquitos are especially active.

The NJ Health Department has confirmed eight cases of West Nile viruses this year. Most people who are bitten by mosquitos with the virus develop mild symptoms or no symptoms at all, but some experience far more serious reactions, including severe headaches, high fevers, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, and/or paralysis.

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