West Nile Virus (WNV) was first discovered in Uganda in 1937.  Since that time there have been sporadic outbreaks throughout Africa, Eastern Europe and parts of Asia.  WNV was first recorded in North America in the fall of 1999, causing illness in people in New York City and the surrounding area.  The disease is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes.

The risk of exposure to WNV can be reduced by preventing mosquito bites.  Residents can prevent mosquito bites by:

  • Using mosquito repellents. Read label directions carefully.
  • Wearing long sleeves and pants if you are outside between dusk and dawn.
  • Repairing holes in screens on doors and windows.
  • Emptying buckets, scrap tires, birdbaths, drains, wheelbarrows and flowerpots to eliminate standing water.  Change your pet’s water dish daily.
  • Draining puddles when possible.
  • Cleaning your gutters and draining flat roofs regularly.
  • Filling holes in trees and stumps with mortar.
  • Covering the arms and legs of children playing near swampy areas.
  • Covering your baby’s carriage or playpen with mosquito netting when outside.

For more information on West Nile Encephalitis, click “WNV.”

For detailed information on what homeowners can do to reduce mosquitoes on their property, please visit the “Morris County Mosquito Extermination Commission.”