More Mosquitoes, Birds Test Positive for West Nile Virus

More mosquitoes and three more dead birds were confirmed positive for West Nile virus in Contra Costa County.
The mosquitoes were trapped near Lakewood Drive and Summer Lakes Drive in Oakley on July 13. Last week, another group of mosquitoes were confirmed West Nile virus positive from the same location.
The birds were found in Danville near Bordeaux Court and Tuscany Way; in Concord near St. George Drive and Port Chicago Highway; and in Martinez near Via El Dorado Lane and Howe Street.
“This hot weather coupled with standing water is the perfect environment for mosquitoes and increases the risk for contracting West Nile virus through their bites,” said Deborah Bass, spokeswoman for the Contra Costa Mosquito and Vector Control District.
“Besides wearing mosquito repellent, reporting standing water such as neglected swimming pools is critical to reducing your risk,” she said.
Repellents with the ingredient DEET is highly recommended, along with repellents containing Picaridin or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.
The district uses surveillance information such as virus-positive mosquitoes and dead bird reports to concentrate their control efforts in areas where people have a higher risk of contracting the disease. The public is reminded to report neglected swimming pools or other water sources where mosquitoes emerge. Reports may be made anonymously.
Most people who are bitten by a mosquito with West Nile virus will not get sick; however, up to 20 percent of the population infected with West Nile virus will get West Nile fever. West Nile fever causes people to experience mild to severe flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, body ache and possible paralysis.
Less than one percent of infected individuals will require hospitalization. The elderly and those with compromised immune systems are most susceptible to illness and death caused by the virus.
For information concerning human West Nile virus symptoms, prevention, or testing, please call the Contra Costa Health Services department at (888) 959-9911 or visit their Web site at www.ccpublichealth.org.