WEST NILE VIRUS RISK INCREASES- MOSQUITOES INFECTED
MORE GROUPS OF MOSQUITOES AND BIRDS CARRY VIRUS
CONCORD, CALIFORNIA - - The Contra Costa Mosquito and Vector Control District is reporting two more groups of mosquitoes and two more birds have tested positive for West Nile virus bringing the total number of birds and mosquitoes this year to eleven and three. One group of mosquitoes was collected in Holland Tract at Holland Tract and Old River and the other in Brentwood at Sellers Avenue and Chestnut Street. One bird was collected from Concord at Oak Grove Road and Monument Boulevard and the other at Lone Tree Way and Fairview in Brentwood.
"Virus-positive mosquitoes mean the virus is capable of infecting people now- it only takes one bite," said Dr. Steve Schutz, scientific program manager for the District. "Anyone of any age can get West Nile virus. We urge everyone to empty standing water and to wear mosquito repellent when outdoors. The disease can be life changing; these simple precautions can be life saving."
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.