Published On: Thu, Sep 3rd, 2015

New Jersey: Passaic County man is 1st West Nile virus death since 2013

Health officials in New Jersey are reporting the first human West Nile virus (WNV) death since 2013 in a 65-year-old Passaic County man, according to local media Wednesday.



In 2013, two fatalities in Gloucester and Morris counties were linked to the mosquito borne virus.

To date, New Jersey has reported eighth human WNV cases to date– Bergen (1), Burlington (1), Camden (1), Cumberland (1), Gloucester (1), Middlesex (1) and Passaic (2).

New Jersey saw 8 cases last year. 2012 was the heaviest year for WNV in NJ when 48 cases were reported.

As of September 1, 2015,  415 cases of West Nile virus disease in people have been reported to CDC (the numbers reported are typically behind and the national total is higher).

WNV is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes are WNV carriers that become infected when they feed on infected birds. Infected mosquitoes can thenspread WNV to humans and other animals when they bite. Rarely, WNV also has spread through transfusions, transplants, and mother-to-child.

Related: West Nile virus season is upon us, how bad could it get?

Approximately 80 percent of people who are infected with WNV will not show any symptoms at all. Up to 20 percent of the people who become infected will display mild symptoms, which appear 3-14 days after getting infected, and include fever, headache, and body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. Symptoms typically last a few days.

About one in 150 people infected with WNV will develop severe illness. The severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. These symptoms may last several weeks, andneurological effects may be permanent. There is no specific treatment for WNV infection. Prevention is by avoiding mosquito bites and eliminating mosquito breeding sites.

Robert Herriman is a microbiologist and the Editor-in-Chief of Outbreak News Today and the Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch

Follow @bactiman63

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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