Bellmawr man is state’s first confirmed West Nile virus case
BELLMAWR (AP) — Health officials have confirmed New Jersey's first case of West Nile virus this year.
They say a 60-year-old Bellmawr man was admitted to a hospital on July 12 with symptoms that had started at the end of June. He was released from the hospital five days later and continues to recuperate at home.
His name has not been released.
The virus is transferred to humans through mosquitoes that have also fed on birds infected with West Nile, and officials say symptoms can be especially severe in individuals over 50 years old.
It's recommended that all residents use mosquito repellant and be vigilant if they are outdoors during peak times for mosquitoes, such as dawn and dusk.
Dr. Tina Tan, New Jersey State Epidemiologist, said there are ways to prevent West Nile Virus.
"You want to try to avoid mosquito bites in the first place, so keep in mind mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn, so you want to try to avoid being outside at that time," Tan said. "If you’re outside though please wear the mosquito repellent, you can apply it both on your cloths and your exposed skin, if you can tolerate it wear long sleeved shirts, long pants to try to avoid areas of exposure, skin exposure."
Tan advises everyone to take steps around their home to try to minimize the mosquito population.
"Try to get rid of that standing water, clean out the gutters and the drains, empty birdbaths, and if people have swimming pools keep em chlorinated so the water doesn’t stagnate," she said. "Make sure those screens are fixed to try to have those physical barriers to prevent the mosquitoes from coming inside."
David Matthau contributed to this report.
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