While no cases of West Nile virus have been reported in the township, health officials have reported an “unusual number” of animals that have tested positive for rabies.
A rabid skunk was found on Brook Drive on Aug. 15, according to a statement by the health department.
Another rabid skunk was found Aug. 20 at the Royce Brook Golf Course on Hamilton Road.
A rabid cat was also discovered behind the Goodyear dealer on Route 206 on Aug. 20. The health department says it was a young white short-haired cat with patches of tiger markings.
The health department is advising anyone who had contact with one of these animals to call their physician immediately.
Though eight cases of humans with West Nile virus have been reported in New Jersey, there have been no cases in Somerset County, according to the federal Center for Disease Control.
However, according to the health department, studies of mosquitoes in the Somerset County area show the virus is present.
West Nile virus cases peak in September and October, according to the health department. The virus is spread by mosquito bites.
West Nile symptoms can range from very mild to severe, but generally include headache fever, body aches, skin rash (sometimes), and swollen lymph nodes (sometimes). Older people and those with weakened immune systems may be at higher risk of a more severe infection.
For more information, you can visit http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/index.htm or http://www.co.somerset.nj.us/mosquito/mosquitocontrolqna.html or contact the health department at 908-369-5652.
The full text of the health department’s statements on rabies and West Nile can be found on the township’s main page, http://www.hillsborough-nj.org/.