South River crows test negative for West Nile

Staff Writer

By takesha pettus

South River
crows test negative for West Nile

SOUTH RIVER — Tests conducted on two crows found dead in the borough earlier this month have come back negative for the West Nile virus.

The crows were found on Aug. 2 and Aug. 9 on Mitchell and Union avenues, according to officials from the Middlesex County Health Department, New Brunswick.

However, tests results do not indicate that the birds died as a result of infection by the West Nile virus, officials said.

Residents in the area have been concerned about the virus since the recent discovery of a dead crow and subsequent test results that indicated it was infected with the virus.

The virus is contracted by humans and animals through mosquito bites.

Mosquitoes become infected with the virus by feeding on infected birds. Some birds die from the virus but are not known to transfer the disease to humans.

Symptoms of the virus include fever, headache, body aches, skin rashes and swollen lymph glands.

Residents are still being told to take precautionary methods until the end of the mosquito breeding season in October.

County health officials suggest that residents eliminate standing water on their property; clean clogged roof gutters; empty plastic swimming pools and drain swimming pool covers; change the water in bird baths; flush sump pumps weekly; check or repair screen doors; stay indoors during dawn, dusk and early evening when mosquitoes are active; wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and socks when outdoors; avoid areas with heavy bushes and trees; and apply insect repellent sparingly to exposed skin, following the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

Two weeks ago, resident Arthur Smith complained about stagnant water in a nearby wooded area of his Northern Street residence.

According to Smith, representatives from the Middlesex County Mosquito Extermination Commission came out to spray the area.

The birds submitted for testing from South River, however, were not found in the same area and were across town from Smith’s home.