West Nile hitting more people in NJ this year — how to protect yourself
In a typical year, New Jersey sees eight West Nile Virus infections reported.
So far in 2021, more than a dozen human cases of the mosquito-borne disease have been confirmed in the Garden State, including one death. And local health departments are investigating another six potential cases.
According to the New Jersey Department of Health, the state currently has 14 human cases in the following counties: Bergen (2), Burlington (3), Camden (2), Essex, Gloucester, Middlesex, Passaic, Somerset, Ocean and Monmouth.
Camden County officials on Monday confirmed a positive test for a Barrington resident. The resident was recently admitted to a local hospital displaying symptoms consistent with West Nile Virus.
The months of August and September are when most cases are reported in New Jersey. According to DOH, older individuals and those with weak immune systems are at greater risk of developing severe illness. For many people, DOH says, the virus causes asymptomatic infection or a mild to moderate illness, typically with a fever.
More severe forms of the disease may bring on a severe headache, disorientation, convulsions, muscle weakness and paralysis, among other symptoms.
A Camden County man in his 60s died of West Nile in July. He had become ill in mid-July, and the death has been attributed to "WNV neuroinvasive disease," according to DOH.