A 74-year-old man in Hunterdon County is infected with West Nile Virus as Keansburg sprays for mosquitoes
Ken Serrano, @KenSerranoAPP
As New Jersey reports its first human case of West Nile virus this year, Monmouth County plans to spray in Keansburg Friday to keep the virus at bay.
A 74-year-old man in Hunterdon County tested positive for West Nile virus after he started to showing symptoms at the end of July, according to the New Jersey Department of Health. Two other suspected cases are being investigated, according to in the health department’s most recent surveillance report.
So far, this season is shaping up to be worse than last year in New Jersey.
“We’re seeing an increase in positive mosquito pools earlier in our summer season,” State Epidemiologist Tina Tan said.
But we are still in the middle of mosquito season, Tan said. That number can rise or fall significantly each week.
Human cases usually turn up at the end of August and in September, Tan said.
Between July 29 and Aug. 4, 284 “mosquito pools” in 20 counties tested positive for the virus, according to the health department. That’s 48 percent higher than the total number of positive pools for the same week in 2017.
The mosquito pools in every county but Passaic tested positive that week, according to the New Jersey Department of Health.
A mosquito pool is a collection of mosquitoes caught in a trap.
Monmouth County saw its first positive test in early July.
The Monmouth County Mosquito Control division will spray in Keansburg from 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. Friday unless the weather derails the plan.
The spraying will take place in all areas north of Port Monmouth Road and Church Street and west from the Middletown border to the Hazlet border, according the Keansburg Police Department’s Facebook post.
The division uses a “ultra-low volume aerosol generator” mounted on a truck to spray the pesticide Duet.
According to the Monmouth County Mosquito Commission, since Duet “is applied at very low concentrations, it is unlikely that adverse health effects will occur.”
It added: “Nevertheless, some individuals may experience health effects due to short-term exposure to the very low levels.”
Because of that, the commission warns that people should limit exposure.
Suggestions by the Keansburg Police Department include:
- Moving pets, their food and water dishes inside.
- Bring clothing and toys inside.
- Steer clear of the spraying equipment.
- Stay indoors with windows closed.
- Place air-conditioning on the non-venting setting, sealing off the outside air.
- Turn off window fans.
- Avoid contact with surfaces wet from spraying.
- Don’t let kids play in areas that have been sprayed until they are completely dry, about one hour.
- If you have to go outside, and you get spray in your eyes or on your skin, immediately flush that area with water.
Ken Serrano: 732-643-4029; firstname.lastname@example.org
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