CONCORD, CALIFORNIA - -
The Contra Costa Mosquito & Vector Control District confirmed today that one dead bird from Walnut Creek and one group of mosquitoes from Byron tested positive for West Nile virus.
"This virus activity is fairly mild in our county for this time of year,"
said the District's Public Affairs Manager Deborah Bass. "But, even then, people need to take precaution against mosquito bites, mainly, getting rid of standing water so that mosquitoes can't breed in the first place. That's always better than combating them later."
District personnel are conducting extra surveillance and mosquito control in the areas where the dead bird and mosquitoes were found.
The District urges the public to report dead birds to the state hotline: 1-877-968-2473. Birds are often the first sign of disease transmission. Even if the birds are not tested, the reports alone yield crucial information to protect public health.
Residents can reduce their risk of contracting mosquito-borne diseases by following these guidelines:
- Dump or drain standing water. Mosquitoes can't begin their lives without water.
- Defend yourself - use repellents containing DEET, Picaridin, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.
- Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are present, typically dawn and dusk.
- Maintain neglected swimming pools. Just one can produce more than 1 million mosquitoes and affect people up to five miles away.
- Report dead birds to the state hotline: 1-877-968-2473 or by visiting the California Department of Public Health's website. All reports are crucial.
Since 2005, 56 people in Contra Costa County have been diagnosed with West Nile virus. In 200
6, two people died from the disease. For a current list of West Nile virus activity this year, visit this page on the District's website.
For human case information, please contact Contra Costa Health Services at 888-959-9911.
Contra Costa Mosquito & Vector Control District, an independent special district and public health agency, is located at 155 Mason Circle in Concord. Call the District to report mosquito problems at (925) 771-6195 or visit the office between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to get FREE mosquitofish for ornamental ponds, horse troughs or neglected swimming pools.