West Nile virus, also known as WNV, is a virus spread through mosquitoes that feast upon an infected fowl. Recently WNV has surfaced in New Jersey where two cases have been found. The first patient from Essex County is in his Forties, while the second patient from Monmouth County is in his seventies. The New Jersey Department of Health, in its recent press release, had stated that West Nile virus activity in mosquitoes is much less in other seasons as compared to the rainy season. Residents are advised to take caution as West Nile virus human cases are mostly observed in September.
New Jersey has had a history of West Nile virus human cases. In the year 2018, there were 61 cases; in 2019, there were only 8 cases. In 2018, three deaths were reported in Bergen County due to WNV. The people who get infected with the West Nile virus do not usually display any symptoms. In the case of symptomatic infected people, patients develop flu-like illnesses. Even worse, the severe symptoms include swelling of the brain, which may result in coma/death. The immune system plays an important role in tackling this virus. It has been observed that people above the age of 50 are more likely to get infected. As for now, there is no such specific treatment for the virus.
Health officials have suggested that people need to tackle the main cause of, i.e. mosquitoes to prevent the disease. The only way to protect the public from the West Nile Virus is to control the mosquito population. This includes preventing standing water or grounds where mosquitoes can breed/grow. The commissioner of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Catherine R McCabe, in her recent statement, has informed the New Jersey residents to protect their health and put in efforts to eliminate the mosquito population.