Contra Costa Mosquito & Vector Control

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE     -     August 1 , 2013

Contact: Deborah Bass
              Public Affairs Mgr.

(925) 771-6112 - office
(925) 260-4670 - mobile 


Dead birds indicate West Nile virus transmission is active


CONCORD, CALIFORNIA - - The Contra Costa Mosquito & Vector Control District (District) announces that eight more dead birds are positive for West Nile virus. Six of the birds are American crows and two are Western scrub-jays. The birds were found in Antioch, Brentwood, Concord, Danville, Pittsburg, and Walnut Creek. Location details of the birds are listed on the District 's website.


Birds are the reservoir for West Nile virus. People can become infected when a mosquito bites a 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.   


"It only takes one bite to get West Nile virus from an infected mosquito and anyone of any age can get this disease," said Deborah Bass, public affairs manager for the District.  "But, contracting the virus is largely preventable by taking simple, but very important precautions. They are worth the time. In the words of a local survivor of the disease, having West Nile virus is like 'having the flu, polio, and a stroke at the same time.' "


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  Anonymous calls accepted. Just one neglected pool can produce more than 1 million mosquitoes and affect people up to five miles away. 

Since 2005, 42 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 four groups of mosquitoes and 19 dead birds have tested positive for the virus.  


Visit the District's website or click on these links for  current West Nile virus activity  or to  receive automatic emails for when the District fogs for adult mosquitoes.


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.    

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