New Jersey health officials have confirmed the state's first case of West Nile virus this year.

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The Department of Health said a 55-year old Burlington County man had developed symptoms August 5, including fever, muscle weakness, vomiting and dizziness.

Officials say the unnamed individual was exposed to the virus while gardening and doing outdoor activities around his home. He has been released after a brief hospitalization, and is recovering at home, according to health department officials.

New Jersey Health Commissioner Mary E. O'Dowd said West Nile Virus has been identified among mosquitoes in all New Jersey counties except Cumberland and Salem. O'Dowd said most cases occur between August and October, and said residents should use mosquito repellant and be vigilant if they are outdoors during peak times for mosquitoes, such as dawn and dusk.

Health officials said Superstorm Sandy had created new places for mosquitoes to breed, including depressions left by fallen trees. They are urging residents to be careful of places where standing water can accumulate. Mosquitoes get the virus from feeding on infected birds and then spread it to people they bite.

Officials say 2012 was the most active West Nile Virus season in state history with 48 cases and six fatalities.

 

 

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