A mosquito in the Birch Grove Park in Northfield has tested positive for the West Nile Virus, Atlantic County officials report.

The county said it was the first positive test for the disease in the county this year. The sample was collected Aug. 8 and state laboratory tests came back positive.

The virus can be transmitted to birds, animals and humans from infected mosquitoes. Areas with standing water — particularly in warm weather — provide ideal conditions for mosquitoes to breed, the county said.

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“A positive mosquito sample is not unusual at this time of year, and especially after having experienced record-breaking rainfall amounts and excessive heat earlier this summer,” Atlantic County Health Officer Patricia Diamond said.

Local and state officials will continue to test in the area.

Only a tiny percentage of people who get West Nile are ever truly in danger. About 20 percent will have several days worth of mild effects, including fever, headaches, body aches and nausea. About one in 150 who get West Nile see serious symptoms that could develop into permanent neurological damage and even death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Prevention of spreading the virus can be done by taking the following measures:

Avoid mosquito bites by using an insect repellent

Rid properties of mosquito breeding grounds by draining standing water.

Clean clogged gutters

Check and repair screen doors.

Report dead birds to the Atlantic County Division of Public Health by calling 609-645-5971.

Contact Joel Landau:


Follow Joel Landau on Twitter @landaupressofac


Senior copy editor for the Press of Atlantic City. Have worked as a reporter, copy editor and news editor with the paper since 1985. A graduate of the University of Delaware.

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