The first case of West Nile Virus in a Somerset County resident has been confirmed, the Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders said on Friday.
The affected person was a woman who was hospitalized but has since recovered. Her property and those of adjacent residents were inspected and sprayed for mosquitoes, according to a release from the county.
The Somerset County Health Department said it is not releasing the town the woman lived in.
"It is the first confirmed case, so we are doing everything we can to protect her confidentiality," Nicole Rondon, epidemiologist with the health department, said.
Rondon said that if there are more cases, the department will be able to provide specific numbers and locations at that time.
“We want to take this opportunity to remind the residents of Somerset County of the steps they can take at home to protect themselves and their families against the risk of transmission of this mosquito-borne disease,” Freeholder Mark Caliguire, public health and safety liaison, said in a release.
Information from the freeholder board said using an EPA-registered insect repellent, maintaining screen doors and windows, using insect netting on infant carriers and strollers, and limiting outdoor activity at dawn and dusk are all effective ways to prevent mosquito bites and reduce the risk of getting West Nile Virus.
The release also said it is also important to remove potential mosquito breeding sites around your home, as mosquitoes begin to breed in any puddle or standing water that lasts more than four days.
The freeholder board asks those looking for more information about community-based mosquito control programs to call 1-888-666-5968. A fact sheet on West Nile Virus can be found here.