Human Case of West Nile Virus Turns Up in Toms River
Victim not identified by authorities
The first human case of West Nile Virus in Ocean County for 2012 has been confirmed by county health authorities.
The county resident, who WOBM radio reported was from Toms River, was not identified by name or age. The person reported mild symptoms and has since recovered, officials said.
The Ocean County case was the fourth human infection in New Jersey this year, said Daniel Regenye, Ocean County Health Department Public Health Coordinator.
"People need to make sure they are either covered up to protect themselves from mosquitoes or use mosquito repellent, making sure to read the directions if applying to children," said Regenye in a statement.
West Nile Virus is mainly transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito, officials said.
"Most human WNV infections produce no symptoms or mild to moderate symptoms that include fever, headache and body aches and may be accompanied by a skin rash and swollen lymph glands," said Jennifer Crawford, OCHD Communicable Disease Supervisor.
The disease can be more dangerous, and in rare cases fatal, in children and the elderly, as well as those with compromised immune systems.
So far this year, the county has sent 77 dead birds to a state laboratory, and 17 of them of them have tested positive for West Nile infection.
Health officials said residents can help limit the spread of the diease by eliminating mosquito breeding grounds, normally areas of standing water such as bird baths, outdoor pet dishes, old tires, wheelbarrows, trash can lids and wading pools. Residents with ponds should consider stocking them with mosquito-eating fish, Crawford said.
The county's Mosquito Control Commission has also stepped up efforts to locate potential breeding spots, including conducting surveillance of mosquito pools in areas where dead birds have been found.