Camden County health officials are reporting the first human West Nile virus case in the state of New Jersey this year in a 60-year-old Bellmawr man.

West Nile virus
Culex quinquefasciatus

According to health officials, the patient was admitted to Kennedy Health Systems in Stratford on July 12 with symptoms that had begun at the end of June.  On July 17, he was released from the hospital.

“The Camden County Health Department encourages you to use insect repellents and take extra precautions if you are outside during peak biting hours.  You may also want to wear long sleeves and long pants if you are in your yard between dusk and dawn,” said Freeholder Carmen Rodriguez, liaison to the Camden County Department of Health and Human Services. “While the chance of becoming ill is relatively small, there are things you can do to protect yourself and your family.”

In 2014, New Jersey reported eight human West Nile virus cases and has reported more than 200 since the virus were first seen in the US in 1999.

The primary way people get West Nile virus is through the bite of an infected mosquito. Most people who become infected with West Nile virus do not have any symptoms.

About one in five people who become infected develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash.

Less than 1 percent of infected people develop a serious neurologic illness, such as encephalitis or meningitis (inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues).

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