The Contra Costa Mosquito & Vector Control District confirmed yesterday that a dead bird found in Pleasant Hill tested positive for West Nile virus. The bird was found near Chilpancingo Parkway and Camelback Road.
“We are thankful that a resident reported the bird, which gives us the opportunity to understand where virus activity may be taking place in the county,” said Deborah Bass, public affairs manager for the District. “Learning of potential hot spots such as this allows us to conduct additional surveillance in a specific area to locate mosquito sources. Our goal is always to treat mosquitoes in their larval form, in the water, before they have a chance to become flying adults, get the disease from birds, and then infect people. Reports such as these help us toward that goal.”
Birds are the reservoir for the virus. Mosquitoes bite the birds, get the virus, and then can infect people when they bite them.
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 lives without water.
- Defend yourself against mosquitoes by 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 http://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.
- Report dead birds to the state hotline: 1-877-968-2473. All reports are crucial, even if the bird does not meet criteria for testing.
Since 2005, 52 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 are grossly underreported. For 2015, a total of one group of mosquitoes, has tested positive for the virus.
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.