Burlington County treating for West Nile Virus

Mosquito traps now have turned up a total 12 positive samples of West Nile Virus over the last three weeks, the most recent located in Mansfield, Maple Shade, Moorestown and Willingboro, according to the Burlington County Mosquito Division has reported.

The division plans to treat for adult mosquitoes, weather permitting, in the vicinity of traps this Thursday after 6 p.m. Once again, residents are encouraged to stay indoors while treatment occurs. Pesticide will be applied in a mist form by truck.

The positive samples turned up near sewerage treatment plants in Maple Shade, Moorestown and Willingboro, and near Ellington Drive in the Four Seasons development in Mansfield. Treatment will take place in the neighborhoods within one-half mile of these locations.

Once again, county health officials are urging residents to take precaution against mosquitoes by using mosquito repellent, wearing long sleeves and long pants, and limiting 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 www.co.burlington.nj.us/health.