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Press Release - Office of Mosquito Control
Release Date: May 17, 2004

Media Release:  For Immediate Release     

Contact:          Freeholder Gary Chiusano, Health Liaison 973.579.0240


                        S. R. Gruchacz, Administrator

                        Department of Health & Human Services 973.579.0559


County of Sussex, Department of Health and Human Services - Office of Mosquito Control

Sussex County Division of Health, Office of Mosquito Control, is implementing mosquito control measures to prevent the spread of West Nile Virus. West Nile Virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne viral disease commonly found in Africa, West Asia, the Middle East and Europe.  It was first confirmed in North America in the New York City metropolitan area in the summer and autumn of 1999.  WNV is transmitted to people through the bite of a mosquito that has become infectious after feeding on a bird sickened with the virus.  Most infections produce no symptoms in people or symptoms are mild or moderate.  Symptoms may include: fever, headache, and body aches, often with skin rash and swollen lymph glands.  More severe infections may be marked by headache, high fever, neck stiffness, muscle weakness.

In order to detect WNV in our County, the Office of Mosquito Control traps adult mosquitoes and sends samples to the State Environmental Laboratory to test for the presence of WNV.  These samples arise from a variety of traps set throughout the County that target various states of adult female mosquitoes and are used for both nuisance level monitoring and inclusion in the New Jersey Mosquito Surveillance Program.  Sightings of dead or ill crows factor into the placement of these adult mosquito traps in Sussex County.  If you notice dead crows in your community, please call your Local Health Department. Your Local Health Department will receive your information and report this to the appropriate authorities but may not retrieve the dead crow.

Office of Mosquito Control activities include clearing obstructions to water flow, applying larvicides in wetlands and floodplains and stocking fish in retention ponds.  Personnel have also focused on controlling mosquitoes in neighborhood areas that may hold water for short periods of time.  Such areas may include street catchbasins and stormwater detention basins.  To assist in this effort, all residents are asked to eliminate any standing water on or near their property.  This may include clogged rain gutters, birdbaths, pools and pool covers, toys and flower pots.   To avoid contact with adult mosquitoes, keep window and door screens intact and avoid outdoor activity at dusk and dawn when adult mosquito populations are high.  Additional personal protective measures involve wearing light colored clothing with long sleeves and pants and the use of DEET based repellents.

For information on crow disposal, preventing the spread of West Nile Virus and the measures implemented by the Office of Mosquito Control to reduce mosquito populations, visit www.sussex.nj.us/mosquito. If you experience physical symptoms marked by headache, high fever, neck stiffness or muscle weakness, please contact your healthcare provider.

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