West Nile shows up in surrounding areas

Mosquito traps have turned up five positive samples of West Nile Virus in four towns over the past week, the Burlington County Mosquito Division has reported. The findings have set in motion plans to treat to control adult mosquitoes, weather permitting, in all four communities tomorrow evening.

Positive samples — the first of the summer season — turned up in the vicinity of sewerage treatment plants in Beverly, Evesham and Maple Shade. Another positive finding was detected in a rural location along County Route 542 in Washington Township. The testing is done by state labs.

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Areas within approximately one-half mile of the sewerage plants, and within one-half mile of mile marker 16 on County Route 542, south of Green Bank, will be treated sometime after 6 p.m on Thursday, July 28. Pesticide will be applied in a mist form by truck. Residents are encouraged to stay indoors while treatment occurs.

“This should serve as a reminder to all residents to take every precaution against mosquitoes,” Burlington County Freeholder Mary Ann O’Brien who oversees the Health Department said. “The keys to prevention are basic enough. Use mosquito repellent, wear long sleeves and long pants, and try to limit outdoor activity when mosquitoes are most active, during dawn and dusk.”

Residents should also clean or remove any items on their personal property that can collect rain or sprinkler water and serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes, such as clogged gutters, flowerpots, bottle caps or old car tires. They should also completely change water in birdbaths at least once a week and should repair window and door screens.

According to County Health Officer, Robert Gogats, about one in 150 persons, or less than 1 percent of those infected with West Nile virus will develop a more severe form of the disease. The elderly and immune-compromised are at higher risk of more severe disease.

Symptoms of the more severe form of West Nile Virus include severe headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness and paralysis.

However, most people exposed to West Nile Virus will not display any symptoms and some will have mild symptoms including fever, headache, body aches, skin rash and swollen lymph glands.

Additional Information can be accessed on the county web site at http://www.co.burlington.nj.us/health.

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