WEST NILE VIRUS KILLS MORE BIRDS, SQUIRREL IN CONTRA COSTA COUNTY
CONCORD, CALIFORNIA - - The Contra Costa Mosquito and Vector Control District announced today that three more dead birds and a squirrel tested positive for West Nile virus. Two dead birds were found in Oakley at Robinwood Avenue and Quail Valley Run, and at Gamay Circle and Alder Drive. One dead bird was found in Brentwood at Sellers Avenue and Sunset Road. The squirrel was found in Concord at Treat Boulevard and Cowell Road.
"We'd like to thank the public for reporting these animals to the dead bird hotline," said Deborah Bass, public affairs manager for the District. "Their phone calls give us important information and allow us to protect our residents from vector-borne diseases to the best of our ability."
The public is urged to continue to call in dead birds and squirrels they find to the state hotline: 877-WNV-BIRD (877-968-2473). Not all animals are picked up and tested, but the reports are very valuable to mosquito control surveillance and control efforts.
According to the county health department's Web site, there have been four human cases of West Nile virus in Contra Costa County this year. Two people have died from West Nile virus in California so far this year.
Today's report brings the total West Nile virus-positive vectors this year in Contra Costa County to 17 groups of mosquitoes, 44 dead birds, ten sentinel chickens, two squirrels, and one horse.
Residents are urged to wear mosquito repellents with the ingredients DEET, Picaridin or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus. The public is also reminded to report neglected swimming pools or other water sources where mosquitoes emerge. Reports may be made anonymously.
To understand possible mosquito water sources in yards, visit the District's Web site.
Most people who are bitten by a mosquito with West Nile virus will not get sick; however, up to 20 percent of the population infected with West Nile virus will get West Nile fever. West Nile fever causes people to experience mild to severe flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, body ache and possible paralysis. Less than one percent of infected individuals will require hospitalization. The elderly and those with compromised immune systems are most susceptible to illness and death caused by West Nile virus.
Residents are urged to take the following precautions:
- DEFEND yourself against mosquitoes by using a repellent with an effective active ingredient such as DEET, Picaridin or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus. Make sure to follow label directions.
- DRAIN all sources of standing water that may support mosquito-breeding habitats. Residential sources can be a big producer of mosquitoes in Contra Costa County.
- DOOR and window screens should fit tight and be in good repair. This will prevent mosquitoes from entering your home.
- DO vaccinate your horses. Horses are highly susceptible to West Nile virus - approximately half of the horses that get West Nile virus die or have to be euthanized.
DAWN and DUSK are times to avoid being outdoors since this is when mosquitoes are most active.
DRESS appropriately by wearing long sleeves and pants when outdoors and mosquitoes are present.
DEAD birds should be reported to 877-WNV-BIRD (877-968-2473) or online at www.westnile.ca.gov. Not all birds will be picked up and tested, but reporting dead birds provides important information for mosquito control efforts.
People wishing to be notified about adult mosquito fogging or spraying in residential areas have several options. They may visit the District's Web site and opt to receive the notifications automatically by e-mail; they can view information directly on the District's Web site; or they may phone the District for a recorded message at (925) 771-6195.
Contra Costa Mosquito & Vector Control District, a 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 or horse troughs. Fish are also available at the Antioch Corporation Yard located at 1201 W. 4th Street in Antioch.
For information concerning human West Nile virus symptoms, prevention, or testing, please call the Contra Costa Health Services department at (888) 959-9911 or visit their Web site.
For information concerning West Nile virus and horses, please call the California Department of Food and Agriculture Animal Health Branch at (916) 654-1447.