An eighth Ocean County resident has contracted West Nile virus, according to the Ocean County Health Department
Public Health Coordinator Daniel Regeneye said the department received notification of the case this week. The resident, from the southern part of Ocean County, had underlying health conditions. The resident has since recovered, Regeneye said.
“Once again, the OCHD is urging people to continue their vigilant efforts against mosquitoes. Even with the cooler weather, mosquitoes are still active. Also, we have had quite a bit of rain, which offers mosquitoes additional breeding areas. With the cooler weather, the OCHD suggests long pants and long sleeves when outside,” Regenye said.
The coordinator stressed that citizens should continue to use mosquito repellent containing DEET on their body or clothing when outside, and to follow the directions regarding such repellent when using it for children.
“Look around your property for standing water and remove as soon as possible so it does not become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. West Nile Virus is in the environment in Ocean County and we warn all residents of every area of Ocean County to take precautions,” added Regenye.
“Most human West Nile Virus 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, supervisor of the OCHD Communicable Disease Unit. "More dangerous conditions among the young or elderly and persons with chronic diseases or compromised immune systems have been reported.”
Crawford explained that mosquitoes carrying the virus feed on birds, which causes them to be infected.
“West Nile Virus is mainly transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito; therefore, ongoing elimination of mosquito breeding is the key to prevention of West Nile Virus transmission,” added Crawford.
“Residents’ participation in the elimination of standing water around the home is critically important," said Leslie Terjesen, the Ocean County Health Department’s public information officer. Homeowners can help curb the mosquito population by monitoring common mosquito breeding grounds including:
• Bird baths - Change the water at least once or twice a week, cleaning the bath on a regular basis.
• Outdoor pet dishes - Change the water daily, not only to prevent mosquito breeding, but also for your pet's health.
• Flower pots - Remove any overflow water that has collected in the dish beneath the pot or the pot itself.