New Jersey's first case of West Nile virus this year was confirmed Friday by the state Department of Health, officials said.
A 55-year-old Burlington County man developed symptoms of the disease earlier this month, officials said, and was hospitalized after complaining of fever, muscle weakness, vomiting and dizziness.
The man was exposed to the virus Aug. 5 while gardening and working outdoors around his home, Department of Health officials said.
They didn't specify where in Burlington County the man was from, however.
The virus, which typically shows up between August and October, has been identified in mosquitoes in every county in the state, with the exceptions of Cumberland and Salem, officials said, and residents are warned to use bug spray and stay indoors in the hours around dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.
Eight people have died from West Nile since 2010, according to state records, and 85 people have been sickened in the same period. 2012 was the most active year for the virus, with 48 cases reported and six deaths.
Damage from last year's hurricane season has led to conditions that could bulk up the mosquito population, and state officials asked residents to do what they can to curb the problem.
"Superstorm Sandy has created many new places for mosquitos to breed, including depressions left by fallen trees, and the department is asking residents to take steps to help limit the mosquito population on their properties by removing standing water where mosquitos may breed,” said Mary E. O'Dowd, head of the state Health Department.
Mild to moderate West Nile infections usually resolve within seven to 10 days, officials said, but more severe infections may require hospitalization and supportive treatment.
For more information on West Nile and its prevention, visit the New Jersey Department of Health website.