MORE BIRDS TEST POSITIVE FOR WEST NILE VIRUS
RESIDENTS URGED TO REPORT ALL DEAD BIRDS FOR MOSQUITO CONTROL
CONCORD, CALIFORNIA - - The Contra Costa Mosquito and Vector Control District is reporting eight more birds that have tested positive for West Nile virus bringing the total number of birds this year to nine. One bird was collected from each of the following cities: Alamo, Antioch, Knightsen, Pittsburg, Pleasant Hill, and Walnut Creek. Two birds were collected from Concord.
"Virus-positive dead birds indicate virus transmission and are an early warning signal to us that virus is active in certain areas," said Dr. Steve Schutz, scientific program manager for the District. "This year the reports have been very low which hamper our efforts to protect people. We need dead bird reports so that our technicians can concentrate mosquito control efforts in those areas and reduce the risk of disease to our residents."
Dr. Schutz added, "Due to testing capabilities, not all birds are collected and tested; however, the reports alone provide invaluable information for disease surveillance."
Residents are urged to report dead birds to the West Nile Virus state hotline: 1-877-968-2473. Reports may also be made online at www.westnile.ca.gov Dead bird reports are an important tool for West Nile virus detection. Lack of dead bird reports decreases the District's ability to detect high risk locations.
Residents are also urged to help reduce their risk by following these guidelines:
- Dump or drain standing water. Mosquito 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, 36 people in Contra Costa County have been diagnosed with West Nile virus. In 2006, two people died from the disease. Studies have shown that the majority of cases are undiagnosed.
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.
For information concerning human West Nile virus symptoms, prevention, or testing, please call the Contra Costa Health Services department at (888) 959-9911. For information concerning West Nile virus and horses, please call the California Department of Food and Agriculture Animal Health Branch at (916) 654-1447.