CAMDEN COUNTY, N.J. - Camden County health officials on Friday confirmed the county's fifth case of West Nile Virus.
West Nile virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne virus and is closely related to St. Louis encephalitis (SLE) virus. SLE has occurred in humans in Camden County but not recently. SLE virus is most prevalent in the southeastern and mid-western United States. However, WNV is typically found in Africa, Europe, and West Asia (primarily in countries bordering the Mediterranean Basin). It is not known how the WNV got to the United States. Scientists believe the virus was probably in the Eastern U.S. for several months before the first outbreak in humans during the Fall of 1999. The virus can be detected by testing mosquitoes, birds, various other animals and the blood and spinal fluid of humans who have symptoms that could be from West Nile Fever. From New York City in 1999, the virus has spread to 48 other states, infecting people and a variety of animals. West Nile Fever virus is considered to be established throughout New Jersey.