Crows can carry the pathogen that causes WNV.
Report Dead Birds to Protect Your Neighborhood from West Nile virus
Birds are hard workers. They have served as  message carriers, seed dispersers; even as agricultural pest control. Here in Contra Costa County, birds are an important tool in the fight against West Nile virus. They can provide the first evidence that West Nile virus is in a particular neighborhood, but they can't play that role without your help. 
West Nile virus Starts with Birds
Birds are natural hosts of the pathogen that causes West Nile virus. Here in Contra Costa County, there are two species of mosquitoes that like to bite birds and are known to transmit West Nile virus to people; Culex tarsalis and Culex pipiens. These mosquitoes bite the birds, acquire the pathogen, and become infected. The mosquito can then bite another bird or a person and spread the infection.  If the mosquito infects a new bird, and the bird is in the corvid family (which includes crows, ravens, jays and magpies), it is likely to die of its infection.
How You Can Help
If you find a dead bird on your property c ontact the California West Nile Virus Dead Bird Hotline by calling 1-877-WNV-BIRD or visit the website . The Hotline operator will ask you a few questions to determine whether the bird is a candidate for testing. There is no dead bird pickup on weekends, holidays or during the winter, but all reports are logged and are used by the District to map potential areas of disease risk.

After You Report a Dead Bird
Dead Bird Testing
Scientific Program Manager Steve Schutz, Ph.D. collects a sample             for testing.
Once the District receives notification that a bird has been reported in Contra Costa County, a District employee may pick up the bird and bring it back to the District for testing.  Final results take about a week, and positive results are posted on our website. If testing confirms the bird carried West Nile virus, District employees will place mosquito traps in the neighborhood to collect mosquitoes and have them tested for v irus if needed. We also increase efforts to find young larval mosquitoes in nearby water sources.
Not All Birds are Tested, But All Reports are Important
Occasionally, the District will receive notification of several birds from the same neighborhood.  In those cases, we do keep a record of the reports and focus our surveillance efforts in the area, but we may not pick up all of the subsequent birds in one area for testing. The reports are still important, and so continue to report dead birds even if we do not pick them up.

In cases when a District employee does not pick up a reported bird, carefully dispose of the bird:
  1. Wear disposable gloves and:
  2. Turn a bag inside out, and pick up the bird with the bag.
  3. Turn the bag right side out and place the first bag into a second bag.
  4. Close the bag with a knot or rubber band and place it in an outdoor garbage container.
With your help, these birds help the District focus prevention efforts to reduce the risk of West Nile virus for you and your neighbors.

Prevent Mosquitoes and Protect Yourself Using the 5 Ds
Warmer weather is here and the start of summer is right around the corner. In other words, it's mosquito season. That means it's time to remember the 5 Ds to protect yourself from mosquitoes and reduce the risk of the diseases they can spread.
DUMP OR DRAIN  any standing water to deny mosquitoes a place to lay their eggs.
DAWN AND DUSK  are times to avoid being outside because this is when mosq uitoes
Always follow label directions when applying insect repellent.
that can transmit West Nile virus are most active.
DEFEND  yourself against disease-carrying mosquitoes by using  insect repellents that are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) such as DEET, Picaridin or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus. 
When using insect repellent, always follow the instructions on the label. In this District video, watch how to properly apply CDC-recommended insect repellents.
How To Get Automatic Adult Mosquito Spraying            Notifications & Breaking News

To learn when and where we are fogging for adult mosquitoes, sign up for our spray notifications. Use our interactive map to learn each and every street in our spray zone each time. 

Want breaking news such as when we find West Nile virus or other mosquito-borne diseases? Sign up for our automatic emails delivered right to you.  You choose which publications you wish to receive.
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Contra Costa Mosquito & Vector Control