New Jersey: Go for the Brown Water, Stay for the West Nile


New Jersey is having a tough week on the PR front; in addition to the brown water coming out of the taps at Newark International Airport, there are now seven new cases of West Nile Virus, authorities confirmed today.

The new reports put the total number of cases of the virus in New Jersey at 22 in 15 counties. Essex and Ocean counties lead the tally with three cases each.

Of the 22 reported cases, only one has been fatal — a 77-year-old Willingboro man died from the illness last week, which is the first West Nile-related death in New Jersey since 2010.

West Nile is a pretty nasty disease that pops up in North American cities around this time every year. This year has been particularly brutal — 2012 has seen the highest reported cases of the disease in U.S. history.

The Centers for Disease Control offers a few tips on how to avoid
contracting the disease, most of which involve staying away from

— When you are outdoors, use insect repellent
containing an EPA-registered active ingredient. Follow the directions on
the package.

— Many mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn. Be sure to
use insect repellent and wear long sleeves and pants at these times, or
consider staying indoors during these hours.

— Make sure you have good screens on your windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.

— Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing
water from flower pots, buckets and barrels. Change the water in pet
dishes and replace the water in bird baths weekly. Drill holes in tire
swings so water drains out. Keep children’s wading pools empty and on
their sides when they aren’t being used.

We think it’s only prudent to add “Stay away from New Jersey” to that list.