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West Nile virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne disease that can cause encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord).  Symptoms include rapid onset of severe headache, high fever, stiff neck, confusion, loss of consciousness, and muscle weakness.  Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) demonstrate that more than one-third of the reported cases of WNV result in some degree of lasting neurological damage.  In the worst cases, the disease can be fatal. WNV was first detected in the United States during 1999 in the New York metropolitan area when 62 people became sick and 7 died.  Since that time, the disease has spread throughout the continental United States, resulting in a total of 20,437 human cases, including 8,362 cases of neurological disease and 782 deaths. 


The Middlesex County Mosquito Extermination Commission recognizes WNV to be a clear and present danger to the health, safety, and well-being of its residents and visitors, and is committed to providing protection from infection through coordinated efforts including surveillance for virus activity and a comprehensive and integrated approach to mosquito control.   The Commissionís mosquito control strategy adheres to the guidelines for WNV surveillance, prevention, and control, as set forth in the current recommendations of the CDC, and conforms to the guidelines for phased response to WNV surveillance data.


Additional Sources for information on West Nile Virus are:
Center for Disease Control and Prevention
New Jersey Department of Health and Social Service
United States Geological Survey