Tuesday, September 8, 2015
Five additional positive mosquito samples for West Nile Virus have been confirmed - 2 in Hammonton, 2 in Ventnor and 1 in Northfield, according to the Atlantic County Division of Public Health. The first positive sample was found in Hammonton in late August.
The Atlantic County Office of Mosquito Control is conducting ground sprays in Ventnor, Margate and Hammonton this week as part of its ongoing efforts to reduce the population of adult mosquitoes that may transmit West Nile Virus.
County public health and mosquito control officials are also conducting mosquito surveillance and implementing additional control measures within the vicinity of the 1200 block of Zion Road in Northfield, the location of the most recent positive sample. If activity continues and/or increases, a ground spray may also be scheduled for that community.
West Nile Virus can be transmitted to birds, animals and humans from infected mosquitoes. Areas with standing water particularly in warm weather provide ideal conditions for mosquitoes to breed.
"West Nile Virus can be deadly," stated County Executive Dennis Levinson. "We have an obligation to protect our residents. Just last month a resident of Passaic County died as a result of West Nile Virus. To date there have been seven cases of human infection in New Jersey this year, but fortunately none in Atlantic County."
Scourge, the trade name for resmethrin, is used by the county for its ground spray applications applied as an ultra low volume aerosol. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, it does not require people to relocate or take special precautions during mosquito control spraying.
"Contrary to rumors on Social Media, Scourge is not being banned at the end of this year, but rather its manufacturers have decided not to spend the money to re-register it with so many similar products on the market," explained Levinson. "I understand the concern but it remains approved for use by regulatory agencies."
The Division of Public Health works with the Office of Mosquito Control to track the spread of mosquito-borne illnesses, such as West Nile Virus. Crows and certain other birds are particularly susceptible to the virus and may indicate the presence of the disease in a specific area. Sick birds or birds that have died within the past 24 hours may be reported and evaluated for testing.
Health officials encourage residents to prevent the spread of West Nile Virus by following these simple steps:
* Avoid mosquito bites by using an insect repellent whenever going outdoors. Repellents are an important tool to assist people in protecting themselves from mosquito-borne diseases. The Centers for Disease Control recommends the use of products containing active ingredients which have been registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for use as repellents applied to skin and clothing and approved for efficacy and human safety when applied as directed. Be sure to follow product directions carefully and consult with your child’s doctor prior to using on children.
* Rid properties of mosquito breeding grounds by draining standing water.
Buckets, bird baths, flower pots and other containers can hold water and provide an ideal environment for mosquitoes. Be sure to empty these containers regularly. Mosquitoes do not travel far from where they breed.
* Clean clogged gutters; check and repair screen doors.
* Report dead birds to the Atlantic County Division of Public Health by calling 609-645-5971.
For more information about West Nile Virus, visit the Atlantic County Web site at: www.aclink.org/publichealth/westnile
For information and assistance in removing stagnant water from your property, call the Office of Mosquito Control at (609) 645-5948.