Authorities in Atlantic County have confirmed the first human case of West Nile virus within the county this year.

Last month, county health officials confirmed three mosquito pool samples tested positive for the virus. Those samples were collected in Mullica Township, Northfield, and Linwood.

According to the New Jersey Department of Health, as of August 27th, five human cases of West Nile virus have been identified in the state.

West Nile virus is seen most often during the summer and early fall months. The virus is carried by infected mosquitoes and can be transmitted to birds, animals and humans. Anyone can get infected but people over 50 years of age and those with weakened immune systems are at greater risk of developing severe illness.

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There is no specific treatment for West Nile virus and most people typically recover in about one week.

The county offers the following tips to reduce your risk of being bitten by a mosquito:

  1. Wear shoes and socks, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors at dusk or dawn when mosquitoes are most active
  2. Use an EPA-approved insect repellent according to product directions whenever going outdoors.
  3. Take steps to reduce mosquito breeding by emptying or changing outdoor standing water in flower pots, birdbaths, clogged rain gutters, plastic wading pools, wheelbarrows, and any container found around the property or building exterior.
  4. Contact with mosquitoes can also be reduced by using air-conditioning when possible and ensuring window screens are in good repair.

For more information about West Nile Virus, you can call the Atlantic County Division of Public Health at (609) 645-5971. If you need assistance with removing stagnant puddles or floodwater from your property, call the Office of Mosquito Control at (609) 645-5948.

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