The town of Lodi was treated for mosquitoes overnight following a death that is believed to be caused by West Nile virus. The state Department of Health confirmed that a man from Lodi died as a result of West Nile virus last week. It was the state’s first fatality due to the virus this year.
Family members of Fred Maikisch, 62, of Lodi posted on Facebook he had been suffering from West Nile virus and passed away on Sept. 15 after being taken off life support. Maikisch was a father of two and the coach for a Little League team.
Bergen County Mosquito Control trucks treated several streets in Lodi between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. Saturday. Homes located within those areas were asked to close their windows and bring pets inside. Windows were allowed to be reopened by 7 a.m.
Maikisch is among the 25 West Nile cases reported in New Jersey — eight other cases are currently under investigation. Last year, there were two deaths in New Jersey due to the West Nile virus.
A second Bergen County resident, an elderly woman, has died of West Nile virus this week, amid what state health officials describe as “great concern” over what they are calling the highest number of West Nile cases seen in six years.
As of Monday, 31 cases of West Nile virus were confirmed in New Jersey, the Department of Health reported, with six cases reported in Bergen County.
Ray Bukowski, an assistant commissioner for New Jersey’s Natural and Historic Resources, said in a press release that it is crucial for homeowners to eliminate “even the smallest amounts of standing water from their properties” to reduce the risk of exposure to mosquitoes. That means emptying or changing flower pots, birdbaths, clogged rain gutters, plastic wading pools, wheelbarrows and trash containers.
North Jersey temperatures are expected to hit lows around 60 degrees several nights this week, the temperature at which mosquitoes stop being active.
West Nile virus does not cause symptoms in most people, although one in five infected may develop a fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash, according to the CDC. People over 60 years old are at greater risk for complications such as convulsions, muscle weakness and coma.