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Health

Posted on: September 5, 2018

Reminder - Protect Yourself against Mosquito-Borne Diseases

Cape May Court House – A resident in Cape May County has tested positive for West Nile virus on August 28, 2018. He is currently recovering at a local hospital.


This year, the Cape May County Department of Mosquito Control have 11 collections of mosquitoes that are West Nile virus (WNV) positive; from the following municipalities; 3 Lower Township, 3 Middle Township, 3 Avalon, 1 North Wildwood, and 1 from Cape May City. “At this time the virus has been isolated from Culex mosquitoes that are known vectors of West Nile to birds and humans and therefore we are monitoring the situation closely and spraying around the affected areas” said Peter Bosak, PhD, Director of the Cape May County Department of Mosquito Control. The early arrival of WNV seems to be the trend across the state. This information helps the Department to pinpoint control measures to reduce the chance of transmission. The Department of Mosquito Control regularly tests for WNV, as well as for other mosquito-borne diseases throughout the County and sprays for mosquitoes in the affected areas.


“Knowing that WNV is here in the County is a good reminder for people to protect themselves against mosquito bites,” adds Health Officer Kevin Thomas. Mosquitoes can bite at any time of day, but are particularly active during the early morning hours (dawn) and during the early evening hours (dusk). “To protect yourselves, you can wear long-sleeved shirts, long slacks and use mosquito repellent when outdoors during these times. It is also important to eliminate standing water on your property that may serve as a habitat for mosquitoes and keep window screens in good repair,” recommended Thomas.


West Nile is a virus most commonly spread to people by mosquito bites. In North America, cases of West Nile virus (WNV) occur during mosquito season, which starts in the summer and continues through fall. WNV cases have been reported in all of the continental United States. There are no vaccines to prevent or medications to treat WNV. Fortunately, most people infected with WNV do not have symptoms. About 1 in 5 people who are infected develop a fever and other symptoms. About 1 out of 150 infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, illness.


For information about West Nile virus, or other mosquito-borne diseases, call the Health Department at 465-1209 or check the Department’s website at www.cmchealth.net. To learn about public health news and local events, “like” the Cape May County Department of Health on Facebook.

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