The Contra Costa Mosquito & Vector Control District confirmed today that three dead birds, one from Antioch and two from Brentwood, tested positive for West Nile virus. In June, a dead bird from Antioch also tested positive for the disease.
“West Nile virus activity is not uncommon at this time of year since the disease is endemic—here to stay,” said the District’s Scientific Program Manager Steve Schutz, Ph.D. “But, we all have a duty to control mosquitoes and reduce our risk of mosquito-borne disease. First and foremost: dump standing water. This activity should be as automatic and as common as taking out the trash. Don’t breed mosquitoes in the first place. It’s the most important thing you can do to stay safe from their bites.”
Reporting dead birds also helps the District determine where West Nile virus activity is taking place. All bird reports from the public are critical in helping the District direct mosquito prevention operations. Members of the public can report dead birds to the state hotline at 1-877-968-2476 (1-877-WNV-BIRD) or by visiting the California Department of Public Health’s website.
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 – use repellents containing DEET, Picaridin, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.
- Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are present, typically dawn and dusk.
- Maintain neglected swimming pools . Just one 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.
Since 2005, 55 people in Contra Costa County have been diagnosed with West Nile virus. In 2006, two people died from the disease. For a current list of West Nile virus activity this year, visit this page on the District’s website. For human case information, please contact Contra Costa Health Services at 888-959-9911.
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 the office between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to get FREE mosquitofish for ornamental ponds, horse troughs or neglected swimming pools.