CONCORD, CA- The Contra Costa Mosquito & Vector Control District (District) reports two more groups of mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV) in Contra Costa County.
These mosquitoes were collected from a trap in Discovery Bay, in eastern Contra Costa County. There are now four groups of mosquitoes that have tested positive for WNV so far this year in Contra Costa County. Two previous groups of mosquitoes that tested positive were also from eastern Contra Costa County.
Certain birds carry WNV. Once a mosquito bites an infected bird, the mosquito can become infected. Mosquitoes can spread the virus when they bite another bird or person. To reduce the risk of WNV, the District recommends Contra Costa County residents report dead birds to identify areas of potential WNV infection.
“Dead birds are often the first sign of West Nile virus in a particular location. By reporting dead birds, Contra Costa Costa County residents help District employees pinpoint specific areas for surveillance and control efforts, ” said Steve Schutz, Ph.D., Scientific Program Manager.
Contra Costa County residents can report dead birds by phone at (877) WNV-BIRD (968-2473) or online.
In addition to reporting dead birds, the District advises residents to dump out standing water to deny mosquitoes places to lay their eggs and to wear repellent when mosquitoes are present. The risk of WNV transmission increases when there are infected birds and mosquitoes in the same area. By wearing repellent, residents reduce the risk of being bitten by a potentially infected mosquito.
Since 2005, 73 people in Contra Costa County have been diagnosed with West Nile virus. In 2006, two people died from the disease. For current 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. Contact the District to report mosquito problems online or at (925) 685-9301.