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Two Birds In Bayville And One In Toms River Test Positive For West Nile Virus

Prevention begins in the backyard, Ocean County Mosquito Commission official says

 

Beware of stagnant water.

Any amount - even what a bottle cap holds - can become a breeding ground for larval mosquitoes, said Michael Romanski, Assistant Superintendent for the Ocean County Mosquito Commission

"Anything and everything that holds water," he said. "Kids' toys. A bottle cap, something that small."

Commission and Ocean County Health Department officials are urging residents to take precautions after two dead birds from the Bayville area and one in Toms River tested positive for West Nile virus.

"We're in the business of containing larval mosquitoes," Romanski said. "Going out and spraying adult mosquitoes is kind of a last-ditch effort.'

"Look around everywhere for standing water," said health department spokesperson Leslie Terjesen.

The health department has picked up 40 birds throughout Ocean County suspected of having the virus so far this year, she said.

"Right now we have seven birds pending testing," Romanski said. "Our county health department is very aggressive and very proactive about collecting the dead birds. They really are very good."

Not all mosquitoes are alike. The ones that transmit West Nile Virus belong to the Culex genus, between three to four species of mosquitoes that infect birds, Romanski said.

The commission does preventive spraying in areas of standing water, where stagnant water collects and immature stage of mosquitoes are found, he said.

"We spray for the larval mosquitoes, try to knock down any viral breeding sites," Romanski said.

Another four mosquito pools tested positive in areas where the birds were found, Terjesen said.

County residents can help the Health Department control and identify WNV by reporting dead birds that they find on their property by calling the department at 732-341-9700, ext. 7515 or toll free at 1-800-342-9738, ext. 7515.

West Nile virus infections produce no symptoms or mild to moderate symptoms, including fever, headache and body aches and sometimes a skin rash and swollen lymph glands, said Jennifer Crawford, an OCHD Communicable Disease Specialist.

"More dangerous conditions among the young or elderly and persons with chronic diseases or compromised immune systems have been reported," Crawford said.

Health department officials urge adults to use mosquito repellents, but caution against their use on young children. Babies and younger children should be safely covered up with protective clothing and hats.

Traveller July 26, 2012 at 11:25 AM
Pools, toys, bird baths, roof gutters, downspouts, wheelbarrels, ornamental ponds, poor yard drainage, puddles, ditches, culverts, plastic tarps and coverings, leaking faucets . . . c'mon people, it's easy . . . clean up your yards and make an effort to seek out standing water on your property. There is so much each person can do. Put up secure bat box houses, bird houses, use organic mosquito dunks, etc.
brokeninbayville July 26, 2012 at 11:55 AM
I called because I live on the street over from Pine where the birds were found. They said everything all of you said above. Just put on bug spray (unfortunately a chemical). They are treating but said if you have a bird bath to rinse it out no more than every 3 days. That is how long it take a larve to hatch. I also put the dunks in mine. My street water catches never drain!!! Have called the township to come and clean them out. Hopefully that will be soon. If a pool has chlorine in it, they told me it was ok.
ushouldbeashamed July 26, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Feeling the same way in TR, 2 doors down the pool is uncared for and just sits with water on it daily... I cant go from my front door to the car without them all over me, its gross. My poor dog gets bit up in seconds. The twp of Lakehurst and TR need to do more and site those who leave the yard overgorwn and the pools uncared for!
cynthia July 29, 2012 at 11:20 AM
I have an issue where water is pumped from a basement on Ocean Ave and because the street doesnt run "down Hill" to the drain 4 houses away...it sits stagnit in front of the houses, grows green algea,collects garbage,smells, bugs, etc.I have written and sent pics to the health dept,the DEP, and to the county road dept. Its been weeks and no courtesy letter back, no response, Some one needs to take responsability.We cant sit outside our front porch.I am at a wits end and more so with the articles abo9ut the birds testing positive... ...any suggestions?
cynthia July 29, 2012 at 11:22 AM
Sorry, I forgot to mention My issue is in Point Pleasant Beach

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