The second case of West Nile virus in Camden County in 2013—and the fifth statewide—has been confirmed, county officials said.
An 84-year-old man who first reported symptoms of the virus in mid-August was reported positive for West Nile last week by the state lab in Trenton, officials said.
The man, whose hometown wasn't released by state officials, was hospitalized after going to the emergency room, complaining of headaches and a fever for three days, officials said, though he was discharged Aug. 22 to a long-term care facility.
The first Camden County victim of the virus in 2013, a 68-year-old man who had been in intensive care since first going to the hospital on Aug. 12, was also released to a long-term care facility on Aug. 31, officials said.
The 84-year-old's diagnosis marks the third case of West Nile in the region, with the state's first case confirmed in Burlington County in mid-August.
The virus, which typically shows up between August and October, has been identified in mosquitoes in 20 of New Jersey's 21 counties, officials said, and residents are warned to use bug spray and stay indoors in the hours around dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.
Eight people have died from West Nile since 2010, according to state records, and 85 people have been sickened in the same period. 2012 was the most active year for the virus, with 48 cases reported and six deaths.
Damage from last year's hurricane season has led to conditions that could bulk up the mosquito population, and a wetter-than-average summer has state and county officials asking residents to do what they can to curb the problem.
“This is now the second confirmed case of West Nile in Camden County and it is important for residents to be vigilant about dumping any and all standing water on their property,” said freeholder Jeffrey Nash in a statement. “As a community, we need to work together with our neighbors to make sure no one is providing fertile grounds for mosquito breeding.”
The county works with state labs to track West Nile locally, Nash said, and the county mosquito commission sprays any areas where the virus is identified within 24 hours of verification.
Mild to moderate West Nile infections usually resolve within seven to 10 days, officials said, but more severe infections may require hospitalization and supportive treatment.
For more information on West Nile and its prevention, visit the New Jersey Department of Health website.