UNION COUNTY — With reports of the mosquito-borne West Nile virus on the rise, the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders reminds residents that there are steps they can take to reduce their exposure to mosquito bites.
The Union County Bureau of Mosquito Control has also stepped up its ongoing program of mosquito monitoring and control.
“Mosquitoes emerged much earlier than usual this year, resulting in a larger population,” said Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella. “The Bureau of Mosquito Control has been working diligently to bring those numbers down, and the public can help in this effort, too.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the best way to avoid West Nile virus is to prevent mosquito bites. Some of the most effective methods include:
- Use an EPA-registered insect repellent while enjoying the outdoors.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when weather permits.
- Avoid the outdoors at dawn, dusk and in the early evening which are peak mosquito biting times.
- Install or repair window and door screens.
Mirabella also advised County residents to check their property for places where stagnant water can collect including clogged rain gutters, empty flower pots and children’s toys.
“Mosquitoes only need a small amount of stagnant water to reproduce, so clearing your property of these breeding areas will help keep the population down,” said Mirabella.
The West Nile virus is spread most often by the bite of an infected mosquito, but sometimes can be spread through blood transfusions, organ transplants, breast feeding, and during pregnancy from mother to child. It is not spread by casual touching.
Although most people infected with West Nile show no signs of being ill, symptoms of West Nile can include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting swollen lymph glands, and at times a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. The symptoms generally develop between 3 and 14 days after being bitten.
In response to the above-average mosquito population this year, the Bureau of Mosquito control has been working with experts from Rutgers University to develop a response that includes surveillance, trapping and mosquito testing along with exterminating mosquito larvae and adults.
The Bureau of Mosquito Control has increased the number of trucks for adulticide operations, and has added thermal fogging, liquid larviciding by truck-mounted sprayers, and barrier treatments.
The Bureau will continue its efforts this evening with adulticide sprayings at Snyder Avenue Park in Berkeley Heights, and Oak Ridge and Esposito parks in Clark. Operations will also be conducted in the residential areas of the following towns: Berkeley Heights, Clark, Cranford, Elizabeth, Fanwood, Hillside, Kenilworth, Linden, New Providence, Plainfield, Rahway, Roselle, Scotch Plains, Union and Winfield Park.
For a listing of streets included in this evening’s scheduled operations visit http://www.ucnj.org/mc or call the Union County Bureau of Mosquito Control at 1-908-654-9834/654-9873.
For additional information on the West Nile virus visit www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile.
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