UPDATED: Clark Issues West Nile Alert After Two Pools of Mosquitoes Test Positive
Clark Health Officer advises residents to eliminate any areas of standing water.
Updates from Union County Bureau of Mosquito Control:
Union County Mosquito Control (yes, there is such a thing) has four confirmed positive West Nile test results out of 63 mosquito pools submitted from the county so far this season. Two were in Clark, one in Summit and one in Cranford. They are certain that they will eventually get positive results in other parts of Union County as soon as they can trap there (rain postpones trapping).
The recent positive tests came from the corridor between Westfield Avenue and the Clark reservoir.
The Bureau will continue to monitor the areas that have positive pools of WNV mosquitoes, and, as they have continued to provide the services of nuisance and vector control to the residents of Union County for the past 100 years, take all of the steps employed by modern day mosquito control to subdue the populations of mosquitoes that invade our neighborhoods and parks. This can include barrier treatments, adulticiding, and larviciding. Most importantly, they urge residents to call them at 908-654-9834 if they are in need of mosquito services. They also advise residents to police their properties to rid any standing or stagnant water that may have accumulated undetected, which is what mosquitoes needs most to proliferate.
The Bureau sets portable mosquito traps at different locations throughout the mosquito season as a routine part of their surveillance program. In some cases, traps are set in locations where they are getting complaints of extreme populations of adult biting mosquitoes. Specimens are collected separated, identified, catalogued and submitted to the N.J. Department of Health and Senior Services - Public Health and Environmental Laboratories in Trenton.
The Bureau can't say what is "normal" for any given season due to all of the elements that vary from one season to the next. Some years the numbers of positive results can be more than any previous season and some years they can be lower. Weather plays a vital role in the number of pools that come back as positive. The Rutgers Center for Vector Biology tracks trends seasonally and yearly so an illustration can be seen for comparative results. Their website is http://vectorbio.rutgers.edu/surveillance.php.
The Bureau advises residents to take the necessary precautions to avoid being bitten, as anyone contacting the virus may have a different reaction. Most people that are bitten by a mosquito carrying the West Nile Virus will show no symptoms at all, but when symptoms (i.e. flu like) do occur it is usually five to 15 days after being infected.
If you suspect that you may be infected, see your physician immediately. Less than 1% of the mosquito population in the areas tested carries the WNV. Less than 1% of the people bitten by an infected mosquito will become severely ill.
Original story, published 5:40 a.m. on June 22, 2012:
The Clark Health Department has recently issued a townwide West Nile Virus alert after two pools of mosquitoes in Clark tested positive for the virus.
According to Clark Health Officer Nancy Raymond, the testing is done by the county regularly starting in June and continuing until the first frost of the year.
"This alert exists on the town website all the time, but we add in the first line when we are notified of a positive test," Raymond told Patch.
Raymond says the finding is not especially alarming and that there have been positive tests in the township in previous years. She advises residents to take precautions and eliminate all standing water, which is where the insects lay their eggs.
Raymond says both positive pools were found in residential areas of town. She expects that the county will step up surveillance, larvacide and spraying for mosquitoes in these areas.
The alert, as posted on OurClark.org:
ON FRIDAY, JUNE 15, 2012 THE CLARK HEALTH DEPARTMENT WAS NOTIFIED BY THE UNION COUNTY MOSQUITO CONTROL THAT 2 POOLS OF MOSQUITOES TESTED POSITIVE FOR THE WEST NILE VIRUS.
THE CLARK HEALTH DEPARTMENT BEGAN WEST NILE VIRUS SURVEILLANCE ON APRIL 15, 2012. WEST NILE VIRUS IS TRANSMITTED TO HUMANS THROUGH THE BITE OF MOSQUITOES, NOT CROWS. THERES IS NO EVIDENCE OF PERSON-TO-PERSON TRANSMISSION. SYMPTOMS OF WEST NILE VIRUS INCLUDE MILD, NON-SPECIFIC FLU LIKE SYMPTOMS, HIGH FEVER, CHILLS, BODY ACHES, RAPID ONSET OF HEADACHE, STIFF NECK, DISOREIENTATION, TREMORS, COMA, CONVULSIONS AND PARALYSIS. THE ELDERLY, YOUNG AND IMMUNOCOMPROMISED ARE THE MOST SUSCEPTIBLE. RESIDENTS ARE URGED TO TAKE THE FOLLOWING PRECAUTIONS:
- ELIMINATE ALL AREAS OF STANDING AND STAGNANT WATER SUCH AS TIRES, CLOGGED GUTTERS, OPEN GARBAGE CANS, BIRD BATHS, WHEEL BARRELS, BUCKETS, POOL AND POOL COVERS. ANY HOMEOWNER MAINTAINING A POOL AND/OR POOL COVER WITH STAGNANT WATER WILL BE ISSUED A SUMMONS.
- WEAR LIGHT COLORED, LONG SLEEVE SHIRTS AND LONG PANTS WHEN OUTDOORS.
- LIMIT OUTDOOR ACTIVITY IN THE EARLY EVENING.
- INSECT REPELLANTS MAY BE APPLIED TO SKIN OR PREFERRABLY CLOTHING. RESIDENTS ARE URGED TO READ ALL INSECT REPELLANT LABELS AND PRECAUTIONARY STATEMENT ESPECIALLY WHEN APPLYING REPELLANST TO CHILDREN
RESIDENTS WITH QUESTIONS REGARDING MOSQUITOES AND SPRAYING, MUST CONTACT THE UNION COUNTY MOSQUITO COMMISSION AT 908-654-9835.
TO REPORT AN INJURED, SICK OR DEAD CROW RESIDENTS MUST CONTACT NANCY RAYMOND, HEALTH OFFICER AT 732-428-8405 PLEASE LEAVE YOUR NAME ADDRESS, TELEPHONE NUMBER AND THE EXACT LOCATION OF THE BIRD.