Five Confirmed Cases Of West Nile Virus In Ocean County
Although the Summer season is officially over and the Fall is here, the threat of West Nile Virus continues to loom. The Ocean County Health Department reports an additional case of the mosquito-bourne illness and that number may go up as we approach the cooler months.
The temperatures out there have been wild this week. We had 60s, 70s and 80s. It is a perfect breeding ground for the pesky insects that are after your blood. Although each of the five confirmed victims were treated and have since recovered, the Health Department warns the season is far from over and we still have to worry about taking steps to prevent those itchy bites.
Spokesperson Leslie Terjesen says “residents’ participation in the elimination of standing water around the home is critically important.
Homeowners can help curb the mosquito population by monitoring common
mosquito breeding grounds including:
Bird baths – change the water at least once or twice a week, cleaning the bath on a
Outdoor pet dishes – change the water daily, not only to prevent mosquito breeding, but
also for your pet’s health
Flower pots – remove any overflow water that has collected in the dish beneath the pot or
the pot itself
Ponds – consider purchasing mosquito-eating fish if the pond is serving as a mosquito
breeding site and cannot be drained
Tires; if you use one as a swing, drill a whole large enough in the bottom of it to drain
any water; if you have any stored on your property make sure they are drained or keep
Gutters – clean and remove debris on a regular basis to prevent water from collecting
Trash can lids and recycling bins
Puddles/ditches in your yard or driveway – fill or drain ditches and swampy areas, and
other soil depressions and remove, drain, or fill tree holes and stumps with mortar or sealant
to prevent accumulation of water
Swimming pools (not in use) – keep pool water aerated and chlorinated; cover when not
In addition to eliminating standing water around the home, residents should take the following
Limit outdoor activities at dawn and dusk, when possible
Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants whenever outdoors, weather permitting
Make sure screen doors and windows are in good condition
When going outside, use an insect repellent containing DEET on skin or clothing, or a
repellent containing permethrin on clothing. DO NOT use repellants on children less than 3
years old. ALWAYS USE REPELLANTS ACCORDING TO THE DIRECTIONS ON
There are additional steps that individuals can take to minimize mosquito breeding on their
Dispose of or remove buckets, aluminum cans, plastic sheeting, or other refuse that can
Remove any standing water on flat roofs or around structures
Repair leaking faucets and air conditioners that produce puddles for several days
Eliminate standing water and seepage around animal watering troughs, cisterns, and
septic tanks. Be sure that cistern screens are intact and that access covers fit tightly
Irrigate lawns and gardens carefully to prevent water from standing for several days
The department will continue to monitor the situation and we should see a drop off once December rolls around.
County residents can help the Health Department control and identify WNV by reporting dead birds that they find on their property by calling the department at 732-341-9700, ext. 7515 or toll free at 1-800-342-9738, ext. 7515.
There’s more information at ochd.org