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2 West Nile Virus Deaths Reported In New Jersey

(File photo)

(File photo)

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – New Jersey’s Department of Health is reporting two people have died from West Nile Virus in the state.

According to state health officials, a 78-year-old Gloucester County woman developed fever, blurred vision, weakness and diarrhea in mid-August and was hospitalized.  She died on August 24, and her death was reported to the Health Department today, state officials say.

A 92-year-old Morris County man developed fever and muscle weakness in mid-August and was admitted to the hospital with swelling of the brain. State health officials say he died on August 31.

The Health Department reports six New Jersey residents have tested positive for West Nile Virus, two in Camden County and one each in Bergen, Burlington, Gloucester and Morris counties.

All counties, except Cumberland and Salem, have detected West Nile Virus activity in mosquitoes.

State health officials say 2012 was the most active West Nile Virus season in New Jersey’s history with 48 cases and six deaths.

In 2011, there were seven cases and no deaths.

In 2010, there were 30 cases and two fatalities.

State health officials say many people infected with West Nile Virus do not become ill and may not develop symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they may be mild or severe and show up three to 15 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Mild symptoms include flu-like illness with fever, headache, body aches, nausea and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. Severe symptoms include high fever, neck stiffness and swelling of the brain (encephalitis or meningitis) which can lead to coma, convulsions and death.

The Health Department advises anyone who suspects they may have West Nile Virus should visit their health care provider for further evaluation and potential testing.

For more information on West Nile Virus, visit the links below:

http://www.state.nj.us/health/cd/westnile

http://www.nj.gov/dep/mosquito

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