Asian Tiger Mosquito

Asian Tiger Mosquito

CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE – Though reports of the Zika virus have dropped out the news, the Cape May County Health Department has not lowered its guard, officials said.

There have been no reported cases of a mosquito carrying the Zika virus in the county so far, said Kevin Thomas, county health officer.

He wants to keep it that way.

“I understand the increased concern about Zika virus,” Thomas said. “The Cape May County Department of Health is working diligently with Cape May County Department of Mosquito Control to monitor the situation. We will take all precautions to keep Cape May County citizens and visitors safe.”

One of the best ways residents can do that is to take precautions when traveling to areas with mosquitoes carrying the virus, such as South America, the Caribbean and Central America, he said.

Zika virus spreads to people primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito, but can also spread during sex by a person infected with Zika to his or her partners, Thomas said.

Most of the folks infected with Zika were bit by a mosquito; however there was one confirmed case of the virus being sexually transmitted.

Zika virus spreads to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito — Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. Aedes aegypti is not established in New Jersey, Thomas said; however, the less competent Aedes albopictus has been found in New Jersey. Their habitats include natural and artificial containers, he said.

Eliminating sources of standing water around homes and businesses can help control the population, he said.

Travelers should also take the following precautions:

* Choose a hotel or lodging with air conditioning, or screens on windows and doors.

* Sleep under a mosquito bed net

* Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants that are light colored.

* Apply insect repellent containing DEET when outside.

For more information, see cmchealth.net or call 609-465-1200.

Middle Township Gazette reporter. Call me anytime you have news for the paper or the website. 609-365-6176