We’re surprised we didn’t see this headline earlier in the year: the first 2013 cases of humans with West Nile Virus were discovered in NJ and Pennsylvania in early August.

A Burlington County man is the first person to be diagnosed with the virus in New Jersey this year, state health officials said. In Pennsylvania, a Montgomery County man was hospitalized from West Nile, and a York County man was tested for the virus, but not hospitalized, according to the state Department of Environmental Protection. The potentially deadly disease is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes and can cause inflammation of the brain and spinal cord lining.

Read the whole article for more, including how Superstorm Sandy may have impacted the presence of this problem.

Per the Center for Disease Control, as of August 13, 2013, (before the NJ and PA news mentioned above) 42 states and the District of Columbia have reported West Nile virus infections in people, birds, or mosquitoes. A total of 174 cases of West Nile virus disease in people, including seven deaths, have been reported to CDC. Of these, 81 (47%) were classified as neuroinvasive disease (such as meningitis or encephalitis) and 93 (53%) were classified as non-neuroinvasive disease.

Follow the Center for Disease Control’s guidance for how to avoid and detect the impact of the West Nile Virus – and please be careful.