End of season in sight, but higher risk of infection is typical this time of year
The Contra Costa Mosquito & Vector Control District confirmed today that five more dead birds and two chickens tested positive for West Nile virus. Two birds were found in Concord and the other birds were found in Danville, Oakley and Pleasant Hill. The chickens were from Holland Tract, near Knightsen.
“It’s the time of year when mosquitoes become less picky about their blood source and they tend to bite people as well as birds,” said Steve Schutz, Ph.D., scientific program manager with the District. “West Nile virus is a disease of birds whose blood these mosquitoes normally prefer. But, as many birds are beginning to migrate and their young have left the nest, mosquitoes, desperate to reproduce before the weather starts growing cooler, will bite people if they are present. They require protein from blood in order to produce their eggs.”
Visit the District’s website to learn of all West Nile virus activity in Contra Costa County this year, or to receive automatic adult mosquito fogging notifications should they be scheduled.
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.