West Nile Virus Information

About the Virus

West Nile is one of a family of viruses that can be transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. A mosquito can become infected with the West Nile Virus (WNV) by feeding on birds that have the virus in their bloodstream. Once a mosquito is infected with the virus it can then transmit the virus to humans, birds, horses or other mammals through a bite. With your help we can reduce the mosquito population and help reduce the incidence of disease transmission through mosquitoes


Most people who are infected show no or only mild symptoms such as: low-grade fever, headache and occasionally swollen lymph glands. More severe signs and symptoms can include high fever, stiff neck, muscle weakness, disorientation, brain inflammation (encephalitis), coma and rarely, death. Most people bitten by infected mosquitoes do not develop any symptoms. However, when symptoms of infection do occur, they usually appear 3-14 days from the time you were bitten. If you think you have been infected with the West Nile Virus, please contact your family physician.

Dead Birds

Should you find a dead bird on your property, contact Animal Control for further details at 973-838-8959 weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. On weekends and holidays, call the police department at 973-835-0400. To date, there is no evidence suggesting that humans can get WNV by touching a dead bird. However, it is strongly suggested for general sanitary reasons that you use protective gloves when handling any sick or injured bird. WNV is not transmitted from person to person.

Mosquito Prevention

Mosquitoes need water to breed and grow. Almost anything that holds water for one week or longer can produce these pests. To eliminate mosquito problems, eliminate any standing water on your property.

The Pompton Lakes Department of Health strongly recommends all residents adhere to the following recommendations from the NJ Department of Health and Senior Services regarding the West Nile Virus in order to increase mosquito control and prevention as well as reduce your risk of getting the virus.
  • Eliminate stagnant water around the home in discarded tires, blocked gutters, unclean birdbaths, poorly maintained pools, and any type of receptacle with water and/or decaying organic matter. Mosquitoes need just a small amount of water to lay their eggs, something as small as a bottle cap can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
  • Limit outdoor activities at dawn, dusk and in the early evening, when possible.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants whenever you are outdoors.
  • Make sure screen doors and windows are in good condition.
  • When outside, use an effective skin or clothing mosquito repellent. Always use a repellent according to the directions on the product label.
  • Maintain your swimming pools. Empty or cover swimming pools when not in use.
  • Keep birdbaths clean. Change the water at least once a week.