Dead Birds, Mosquitoes Mark First West Nile Virus Activity this Year

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CONCORD, CALIFORNIA – – The Contra Costa Mosquito & Vector Control District confirmed today that two dead birds from Walnut Creek and one group of mosquitoes from Discovery Bay tested positive for West Nile virus. This is the first report of West Nile virus activity in Contra Costa County for 2017.
“Dead bird reports help us pinpoint virus activity in the county,” said the District’s Scientific Programs Manager Steve Schutz, Ph.D. “Right now we have very few reports. We really need the public to report dead birds to the state hotline so we can understand where else in the county the mosquitoes may be transmitting the virus and where we can focus our control efforts.”
District personnel are conducting surveillance and mosquito control in catch basins, neglected swimming pools, and other water sources in the areas where the dead birds 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 2006, 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.

Mosquito Samples: 1

n Date Reported City Cross Streets Species
1 7/26/17 DIscovery Bay Point of TImber Rd. x Poe Dr. Culex pipiens

Dead Birds: 2

n Date Reported City Cross Streets Species
1 7/26/17 Walnut Creek Ygnacio Valley Rd. x Wiget Ln. American Crow
2 7/26/17 Walnut Creek Ygnacio Valley Rd. x Wiget Ln. American Crow

Sentinel Chicken Flocks: 0

Note: Chickens do not die from West Nile virus. They develop antibodies to the virus which is detected in their blood.

#/10 Date Bleed Area

Horses: 0

n Date Reported City Dead/Euthanized
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.
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