WEST NILE VIRUS: The West Nile virus, an arboviral disease, is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. The virus is not directly transmitted from birds to humans or from person to person. West Nile Virus infection generally causes no symptoms or just mild, flu-like symptoms. However, the elderly are at higher risk of more severe disease.
Since this virus is spread to humans by the bite from an infected mosquito, the Morris Township Health Department is urging residents to mosquito proof their homes and yards. Reducing mosquito breeding sites (areas where stagnant water collects for a week or longer) can reduce the risk of being bitten and contracting the disease. Tips to identify and control these sites include:
- making sure roof gutters drain properly by cleaning them in the spring and fall
- eliminating all stagnant water on your property
- changing water in bird baths at least once a week
- disposing of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots and other water-holding containers or turning them upside down
- disposing of junk piles
- disposing of discarded tires
- maintaining your swimming pools (empty or cover swimming pools when not in use)
Residents can also reduce the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes by:
- wearing long pants and long sleeved shirts when outdoors particularly at dawn and dusk
- making sure screens on windows and doors are in good condition
- using mosquito repellent when outdoors (be sure to use according to the label, use less than 10% DEET for children)
Also, please report all dead crows and blue jays to the Morris Township Health Department at (973) 326-7390.
New Jersey's WNV surveillance, control and prevention efforts involve the coordinated efforts of a number of federal, state and local agencies. These include the New Jersey Departments of Health and Senior Services, Environmental Protection, and Agriculture, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the State Mosquito Control Commission, the Rutgers Mosquito Research and Control Unit, and local health and mosquito control agencies.
Morris County residents may report mosquito problems and standing water to the Morris County Mosquito Commission at (973) 538-3200. For general information on West Nile virus, please visit or contact your local health department. In addition, information may be obtained from the State Department of Health and Senior Services website, CDC website, or at the Morris County Mosquito Commission website which also provides up-to-date information on where and when mosquito spraying will be occurring.
The control of West Nile Virus requires a partnership between community members and the numerous agencies. The Morris Township Health department appreciates the cooperation of the public on this issue.