West Nile virus persists–more mosquitoes, a bird, chickens test positive


The Contra Costa Mosquito & Vector Control District is reporting mosquitoes from Quimby Island and Bethel Island, a dead bird from Oakley, and chickens from Martinez and Oakley have tested positive for West Nile virus. This is the first West Nile virus activity from Bethel Island this year.

So far in 2018, 17 groups of mosquitoes, 12 dead birds, and 15 chickens from Contra Costa County have tested positive for the virus.

According to the District’s Scientific Programs Manager Steve Schutz, Ph.D., “Even though today is technically the last day of summer, there is warm weather in the forecast which means West Nile virus season is not over. West Nile virus replicates faster in warm weather, so county residents should continue to dump standing water to prevent mosquitoes and wear repellent to prevent mosquito bites.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend repellents containing DEET, Picaridin, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus. Residents can also avoid mosquito bites by staying indoors when mosquitoes can be present. Mosquitoes that can transmit West Nile virus are most active at dawn and dusk.

Most mosquitoes can’t start their lives without water, and so dumping out standing water prevents mosquitoes from having a place to develop.

And report dead birds to the state hotline: 1-877-968-2473. Birds are often the first sign of disease transmission in a particular area. Ravens, jays, crows, and magpies can be susceptible to the virus, and may die if infected. Even if the birds are not tested, the reports alone yield crucial information to protect public health.

About Kevin

Councilmember - City of Oakley, Manager of Mainframe Operations and Optimization – USS-POSCO INDUSTRIES, Co-Founder and Board Member - Friends of Oakley A Community Foundation, Commissioner - Contra Costa Transportation Authority, Board Member - Tri Delta Transit, Transplan, San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority and RD 2137, Advisory Board – Opportunity Junction
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