New Jersey confirms its earliest ever West Nile Virus case

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Despite no human cases reported of the disease so far in 2019, ISDH expects to see increased West Nile activity throughout in as summer progresses.

Some people infected with West Nile virus are asymptomatic.

Public health officials in New Jersey are bracing for what looks to be a summer of increased West Nile virus. But common symptoms include fever, headache and body or joint aches or a rash.

Residents may reduce risk by applying mosquito repellent, wearing trousers and long sleeves when outdoors and getting rid of standing water that gives mosquitoes a place to breed. Follow the directions on the package. Be sure to use insect repellent and wear long sleeves and trousers at these times or consider staying indoors during these hours.

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· Install or fix screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of your residence.

Eliminate stagnant water in containers around homes where mosquitoes can lay their eggs. Change the water in pet dishes and replace the water in bird baths weekly. Keep children's wading pools empty and on their sides when they aren't being used. The virus can cause inflammation of the brain and spinal cord.

Department of Environmental Protection commissioner Catherine R. McCabe said another way to prevent the spread of West Nile is to control the mosquito population by dumping out standing water on your property. A West Nile virus vaccine for horses is available and owners are encouraged to vaccinate or booster their animals.

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