New Jersey continues efforts to fight West Nile Virus

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Residents are reminded that when it comes to mosquitoes they should remember to remove, repel and report.

At the peak of West Nile Virus season, state and local officials have stepped up efforts to combat WNV with air surveillance and multiple environmentally friendly strategies in addition to pesticide.

Increased efforts to prevent WNV come as the number of cases has risen to 15, including New Jersey’s first death, an elderly BurlingtonCounty man.

“This is peak West Nile Virus season and high mosquito activity is contributing to spread of the virus,” said Health Commissioner Mary E. O’Dowd. “Residents should protect themselves by using repellent, wearing long sleeves, long-pants and removing standing water on their property that breeds mosquitoes.”

Mosquitoes will develop in any puddle that lasts for more than four days, she said.

The Department of Environmental Protection spearheads statewide mosquito control efforts by providing funding, equipment and expertise to counties for the surveillance, testing and control of mosquito populations. The DEP is making additional funding available for testing.

The additional funds target mosquito control efforts but DEP Commissioner Bob Martin said, “It is equally important for people to take steps at home to protect themselves and their families. Just because Labor Day has come and gone does not mean the risk of disease transmitted by mosquitoes has come and gone.”

The public is urged to remove all standing water that can serve as mosquito breeding areas, use repellents when outdoors in areas with mosquitoes (those with the active ingredient DEET are most effective), and report mosquito activity to county mosquito agencies by calling (888) 666-5968.

Tips for limiting mosquito exposure:

  • Maintaining screen doors and windows.
  • Using insect netting on infant carriers and strollers.
  • Limiting outdoor activity at dawn and dusk .
  • Clean and chlorinate unused swimming pools.
  • Eliminate areas of standing water.
  • Keep gutters clear.

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