Two crows found in New Jersey are the first reported cases of West Nile virus this year. The state Department of Health and Senior Services announced the findings May 7.
The infected crows were collected in Bergen and Middlesex counties April 30 and May 2. The department's Public Health and Environmental Laboratories detected the virus in the crows, which were among several birds submitted this season from 14 counties around the state.
Earlier this year, state officials unveiled New Jersey's strategic plan for detecting and responding to the prospective reemergence of West Nile virus. The plan includes increased mosquito control activities and heightened human, animal, and mosquito surveillance and testing.
In April, the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention awarded the state more than $2 million to enhance its laboratory capacity and disease surveillance efforts.
In addition, a $2.5 million appropriation in state funds has been proposed for the fiscal year 2002 budget to improve the state's ability to track and control the virus.
Last year, six New Jersey residents became ill and one died as a result of West Nile virus infection. The virus was detected in mosquitoes, horses, crows, and other birds in 20 of the state's 21 counties.