CONCORD, CALIFORNIA – – The Contra Costa Mosquito & Vector Control District (District) announces that one more group of mosquitoes, a chicken, and a dead bird have tested positive for West Nile virus. The group of mosquitoes were found in Antioch; the chicken was found in Holland Tract; and the dead bird was found in Brentwood. This is the first group of mosquitoes to test positive for West Nile virus in Antioch this year.
“The weather may be unpredictable, but West Nile virus activity remains steadfast,” said Deborah Bass, spokesperson for the District. “So must be our efforts to reduce our risk. Please dump out standing water and wear mosquito repellent when appropriate.”
Birds are the reservoir for West Nile virus. The two species of mosquitoes in Contra Costa County capable of transmitting the virus prefer to feed on birds; however, people can become infected when a mosquito bites an infected bird and then a person. West Nile virus symptoms of the mild form include fever, headache, tiredness, body aches, and swollen lymph glands. While the illness can last only a few days, even healthy people have reported being sick for several weeks. West Nile virus of the severe form can be fatal.
Residents are urged to help reduce their risk of contracting mosquito-borne diseases by following these guidelines:
- Dump or drain standing water. Mosquitoes can’t begin their life without water.
- Defend yourself against mosquitoes using repellents containing DEET, Picaridin, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.
- Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are present, typically dawn and dusk.
- Report neglected swimming pools by calling 925-771-6195 or visiting www.ContraCostaMosquito.com Anonymous calls accepted. Just one neglected pool can produce more than 1 million mosquitoes and affect people up to five miles away.
Since 2005, 44 people in Contra Costa County have been diagnosed with West Nile virus. In 2006, two people died from the disease. Recent studies have shown that the majority of cases are not diagnosed and grossly under reported. For 2013, a total of 13 groups of mosquitoes, 63 dead birds and six chickens have tested positive for the virus.
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 their office between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to get FREE mosquitofish for ornamental ponds, horse troughs or neglected swimming pools.