West Nile Virus

Welcome to the Cape May County Department of Health's West Nile Virus website. This website was developed to provide the general public and health care professionals a reliable source of information on West Nile Virus.

Each summer, in collaboration with the Cape May County Department of Mosquito Control, community partners and you, the general public, the Cape May County Department of Health coordinates the West Nile Virus Surveillance Program.

West Nile Virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne virus. Mosquitoes transmit the virus after becoming infected by feeding on the blood of birds which carry the virus. Birds common to Cape May County known to carry the virus are crows and blue jays.

In Cape May County, the first case of West Nile Virus was confirmed in a horse in August 2000, while the first bird tested positive in September of the same year. The first human case of West Nile Virus was confirmed in September of 2002.

For most people, the risk of illness from West Nile Virus is low, and the risk of serious health effects is even lower. Nonetheless, it is important to know the symptoms of illness related to infection and how to minimize your risk, especially during periods of high virus activity.