West Nile Virus
 

Borough of Kenilworth Department of Health

West Nile Virus

Reduce Your Risk

Since 2000 April 15th each year is the beginning of the West Nile Virus (WNV) season in New Jersey

West Nile Virus is transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito.  The mosquito picks up the virus from feeding on birds, which serve as the reservoir host of this virus.  West Nile Virus over winters in humans, horses, birds and mosquitoes.

WNV can cause inflammation of the brain but often causes no symptoms to mild symptoms such as:  fever, headache, body aches, skin rash and swollen lymph glands. 80% of those infected are asymptomatic.  20% of those infected will experience these symptoms in a mild to moderate illness.  However, less than 1% will experience severe illness with headache, high fever, stiff neck, weakness, disorientation, paralysis, coma and rarely death.  Those over 50 years of age are at higher risk of a more virulent infection.  Symptoms will appear 5 to 15 days following a bite from an infected mosquito.

The Borough of Kenilworth Department of Health seeks your help again this year as its mission is to reduce the risks of WNV.  Help us help you by:

  1. Eliminating stagnant standing water around your home and/or business as mosquitoes breed in stagnant water.
  1. Limit outdoor activities at dawn, dusk and early evening when mosquitoes are most active.
  1. Wear long-sleeved shirts and full lenght pants when outdoors.  Insect repellant containing DEET;   Picaridin and/or Oil of Lemon eucalyptus are effective repellants.  Use repellants as directed by the manufacturer and only EPA approved.
  1. Screen doors and windows should be checked and kept in good condition.
  1. Use mosquito netting over infant carriers when infants are taken outdoors.
  1. Remember, as it is worth repeating, eliminate stagnant water, especially check:  tires; gutters, birdbaths, maintain and cover pools when not in use; empty and dispose of receptacles with decaying organic matter.

In addition help us identify areas of interest in your neighborhood by: 

a)      Reporting any dead bird sightings to the Health Department at 908-276-2740.  Please note that we may not take the bird for testing as there are restrictions to what is acceptable for testing.

b)      Understanding that if we cannot take the bird due to restrictions, then we ask that you dispose of it.  While WNV is not transmitted by handling live or dead birds, we recommend the use of gloves and a double lined plastic bag. The glove hand placed inside the bags and over the dead bird allows you to then invert the bags over the bird which is now inside the bag without having touched it with your bare hands. Hand washing is always recommended as an added precaution.

c)      Requesting a copy of the report from us if we come to take the dead bird (only Crows or Corvids) as it will be sent to the State Health Department laboratory for analysis. Your request will be noted and once a report is forwarded to use we can release the information but only if you have requested a copy.

d)   Contacting the Health Department at the number above or the Union County

      Mosquito Commission at 908-654-9834 to report unusual mosquito activity in

      your neighborhood.

e)  Please note that a dead bird does not necessarily mean that it died from WNV, but

      we need to monitor and provide surveillance in cooperation with Union County

      Mosquito Commission and the State Department of Health to determine the extent

      of WNV in our Township. This allows us to inform you with relevant future

      information. 

. Your help is greatly appreciated, thank you.

John J. Ferraioli, H.O.

Health Officer



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