- The fears of public health officials that the deadly
West Nile virus is winging its way out of New York grew yesterday after
four dead crows found in New Jersey tested positive for the disease.
- Although no New Jersey resident has the virus, state
officials stepped up mosquito control and monitoring following the weekend
discovery by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Colorado
- Officials are taking blood samples from chickens, placed
around North Jersey, looking for antibodies that would show whether the
birds had been bitten by infected mosquitoes.
- The test will show whether mosquitoes are spreading the
disease to the state " which would put humans at greater risk "
or if migrating birds infected by mosquitoes in the New York hot zone around
northern Queens are responsible.
- The death toll from the virus stands at five people,
with 50 infections in New York State, including a 71-year-old Jackson Heights,
Queens, man whose case was confirmed yesterday. He has been released from
- Dr. Neal Cohen, New York City's health commissioner,
yesterday defended the decision to withhold test results of blood samples
that will be taken from volunteers in 300 Queens families.
- "In many cases, this information is going to end
up being equivocal or marginal, and individuals are not going to really
be able to use that information in a very positive and constructive way,"
- He said the tests will merely show whether a person was
exposed to the virus.