The first human case of the West Nile Virus is reported in Monmouth County. 

The New Jersey Department of Health says the 19-year-old woman was treated and released from the hospital this week and likely was exposed during an outdoor gathering in Ocean County.

The unidentified woman  had flu-like symptoms, a fever, headache and rash.

Health officials urge anyone spending time outdoors to wear insect repellent and remove standing water from their property.

This is the earliest a case of West Nile virus has been detected in New Jersey, said Health Commissioner Mary E. O Dowd. The mild winter and dry spring have led to an early emergence of mosquitos.

West Nile virus is a mosquito transmitted virus passed primarily between birds by mosquitoes. Human and horses can become infected if bitten by an infected mosquito. Mosquito pools have tested positive in 19 counties except Cumberland and Salem. Seventeen birds have tested positive in Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, and Warren counties.

Many people infected with West Nile Virus may not develop symptoms or become ill. Symptoms can be mild or severe and can develop three to 15 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.  Mild symptoms include flu-like illness with fever, headache, body aches, nausea and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach or back.  Severe symptoms include high fever, neck stiffness and swelling of the brain (encephalitis) which can lead to coma, convulsions and death.