New Jersey confirms 1st death from West Nile this year

LODI, New Jersey (WABC) -- New Jersey health officials say a 62-year-old man's death last week was the state's first confirmed fatality from West Nile virus this year.

Officials did not release the man's name, but relatives of Fred Maikisch have said the Lodi man was diagnosed with the mosquito-borne illness before he died September 15.

The state Health Department concluded Tuesday that Maikisch died from the virus.

There have been 25 confirmed human cases of West Nile in New Jersey this year, and health officials say the patients range in age from 24 to 85 and have required an average hospital stay of 11 days.

Another eight reports of people who may have the virus are under investigation.

Tips for reducing mosquitoes around homes

Mosquitoes require water for reproduction. The following are measures that can help reduce mosquitoes:

-Eliminate standing water suitable for mosquitoes
--Dispose of water-holding containers, such as ceramic pots, used tires, and tire swings
--Drill holes in the bottom of containers such as those used for recycling
--Clean clogged roof gutters.
--Turn over objects that may trap water when not in use, such as wading pools and wheelbarrows
--Change water in bird baths on a weekly basis
--Clean and chlorinate swimming pools. When pools are not in use, use pool covers and drain when necessary

Tips for avoiding mosquito bites when outdoors

Mosquitoes require a blood meal for reproduction. The following are measures that can help reduce bites from mosquitoes that feed on people:

--Be particularly careful at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
--Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and long-sleeved shirts. Clothing material should be tightly woven.
--Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors.
--Consider the use of CDC-recommended mosquito repellents, containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, IR3535, or 2-undecanone, and apply according to directions, when it is necessary to be outdoors.
--When using DEET, use the lowest concentration effective for the time spent outdoors (for example, 6 percent lasts approximately two hours and 20 percent for four hours) and wash treated skin when returning indoors. Do not apply under clothing, to wounds or irritated skin, the hands of children, or to infants less than two months old.

Also, be sure door and window screens are tight fitting and in good repair to avoid mosquito bites when indoors.

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