HAMILTON TOWNSHIP — The Atlantic County Office of Mosquito Control has scheduled ground sprays in parts of the township Friday after mosquito samples tested positive for West Nile virus and eastern equine encephalitis, according to a release from the county.
The spraying is intended to control adult mosquitoes and prevent illness. County officials will also provide area residents with information packets about the illnesses.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, West Nile and eastern equine encephalitis are most commonly spread to people by mosquito bites. In North America, cases of West Nile occur during mosquito season, which starts in the summer and continues through fall.
Eastern equine encephalitis is rare in humans, and only a few cases are reported in the U.S. each year, most of them in the Atlantic and Gulf Coast states, according to the CDC. Two horses in New Jersey, however, have died of EEE this year, one in Atlantic County and one in Cumberland, according to the state Department of Agriculture.
Spraying in Hamilton will take place between 4:30 and 9 a.m. One area to be treated is bounded by Old Harding Highway, Monmouth Drive, Roosevelt Avenue, Rose Boulevard, Knight Avenue and Reading Avenue. Another area is bounded by Crocus Street, Benson Avenue, Beach Lane, Essex Street and Route 40.
Ground sprays were conducted in Hammonton earlier this week after a sample collected there tested positive for West Nile, the county said.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency does not require people to relocate during the spray, but the public may choose to stay indoors, close their windows and move children and pet toys and food indoors.
For health information about the pesticides to be applied, call the Atlantic County Division of Public Health at 645-5971, ext. 4367.