West Nile Virus Sickens NJ Teen

A 19-year-old North Jersey woman is believed to be the first person to contract the West Nile Virus this summer in the Garden State.

The Monmouth County woman was hospitalized but has since recovered from the virus most-commonly caused by mosquito bites, according to a press release from the state Department of Health.

“This is the earliest a case of West Nile virus has been detected in New Jersey,” said Health Commissioner Mary E. O’Dowd. “The mild winter and dry spring have led to an early emergence of mosquitoes. The best way to protect yourself against West Nile Virus is to prevent mosquito bites and empty containers of  standing water that can breed mosquitoes.’’

Earlier this month, Suffolk County health officials said a Babylon resident has been confirmed as the first person on Long Island this year to contract the West Nile virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that the West Nile virus is responsible for more than 30,000 sicknesses in the United States since 1999.

The CDC says that only one in every 150 people infected with West Nile become seriously ill. Milder and more common symptoms include “fever, headache, and body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back,” according to the CDC.


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