At least three human cases of West Nile virus have been reported in New Jersey during a summer that has seen a boost of mosquitoes testing positive for the pathogen.

The state Department of Health on Friday said that a 76-year-old man from Essex County and an 80-year-old woman from Hudson County were confirmed cases. Earlier this month, a 74-year-old man from Hunterdon County became the first confirmed case.

All three have been released from hospitals.

Most people who get West Nile do not develop symptoms. About 1 in 5 will get a fever with possible headache, aches and pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash.

Most people recover quickly with over-the-counter pain medications while others spend months with fatigue or weakness.

There were eight human cases last year in New Jersey.

Officials began finding mosquitoes with West Nile Virus in a handful of counties by July. But positive results have been recorded in all counties, with the most in Bergen, Morris, Gloucester, Somerset, Mercer and Hunterdon.

A total of 452 mosquito pools have tested positive this year, which is 66 percent higher than the total for last year.

New Jersey agencies spray to control mosquito populations. Homeowners also are asked to reduce pools of standing water.

People can wear sleeved shorts and pants and avoid being outdoors during dawn and dusk to avoid getting bitten.

Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email

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