CITY OF NEWARK ISSUES HEALTH ALERT TO WARN RESIDENTS ABOUT WEST NILE VIRUS

CITY OF NEWARK ISSUES HEALTH ALERT TO WARN RESIDENTS ABOUT WEST NILE VIRUS
Parents, take note: the city has issued a health alert about West Nile found in Newark and Irvington mosquitos. Preventative measures are listed in the press release after the jump.

The West Nile Virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. The virus is not transmitted from birds to humans or from person to person. Symptoms of mild West Nile infection include fever, headache, and body aches, often with skin and swollen lymph glands. More severe infection is marked by headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, and paralysis.

CITY OF NEWARK ISSUES HEALTH ALERT TO WARN RESIDENTS ABOUT WEST NILE VIRUS

Virus is transmitted through mosquito bites; can cause illness and death in seniors and children

Mayor Cory A. Booker and Director of Child and Family Well-Being Maria Vizcarrondo issued a Public Health Alert today to warn residents about precautions they can take to protect themselves from getting the West Nile Virus and the importance of seeking immediate medical attention if they exhibit symptoms of the virus.

“West Nile Virus can cause pain and tragedy for Newark residents and families,” Mayor Booker said. “But that pain and tragedy can be prevented if residents take precautions. I urge residents to please follow the steps we are providing. By taking these simple measures you may save the life of yourself or a loved one.”

The West Nile Virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. The virus is not transmitted from birds to humans or from person to person. Symptoms of mild West Nile infection include fever, headache, and body aches, often with skin and swollen lymph glands. More severe infection is marked by headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, and paralysis.

The Department of Child and Family Well-Being suggests the following precautions:

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  • When outdoors, wear clothing that covers the skin such as long sleeve shirts and pants; cover your baby’s carriage or playpen with mosquito netting when outside. Spray clothing and exposed skin with insect repellant (containing DEET). When applying to youngsters, use a repellant made for children and apply it to their clothing rather than skin, do not apply DEET products to infants.
  • Curb outside activity at dawn, dusk and during the evening; avoid mosquito habitats including areas with heavy underbrush.
  • Eliminate local sources of stagnant water where mosquitoes breed (clogged rain gutters, neglected backyard swimming pools, old tires, birdbath drains, empty buckets, and flowerpots).
  • Drain puddles when possible.
  • Fill ornamental pools with mosquito-eating fish.
  • Repair holes in screens on doors and windows.
  • Fill holes in trees and stumps with mortar.
  • Screen rain barrels and openings to water tanks.

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In addition, Director Vizcarrondo said, “Homeowners and businesses should inspect their property and eliminate any stagnant water or sources where water could remain stagnant. These would include roof gutters, birdbaths, tires holding stagnant water, dumpsters, buckets, and other containers. In addition, homeowners should keep grass cut and properly cover all garbage cans and items which can hold water.”

The Department of Child and Family Well-Being monitors communicable diseases in Newark. Anyone with questions about West Nile should contact the Department of Child and Family Well-Being at (973) 733-7600.

Author: Ken Walker

Husband, Father, Newarker, PCA Elder, Business Analyst. In a glass case of emotion since 1978.

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