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West Nile virus found in mosquitoes & bird from Oakley

By Gary Bogue
Friday, August 13th, 2010 at 6:31 am in Mosquitoes, Mosquitofish, West Nile virus.

Giant mosquito sculpture. Photo by Flickr user Arthur Chapman used under a Creative Commons License.
mosquito by Arthur Chapman

WEST NILE VIRUS FOUND IN MOSQUITOES AND BIRD FROM OAKLEY

Detection late in the year, but inevitable

The Contra Costa Mosquito and Vector Control District is reporting the first virus-positive mosquitoes and bird this year, both from Oakley. The group of mosquitoes was collected from the vicinity of Empire Avenue and El Monte Drive, and the bird was found near W. Cypress Road and O’Hara Avenue.

west nile

It’s unusual to have our first detection of West Nile virus this late in the year,” said Dr. Steve Schutz, scientific program manager for the District. “But, it was only a matter of time. West Nile virus is endemic to Contra Costa County, and California for that matter. West Nile virus and mosquitoes will always be a part of the summer season and as such, we’ll always need to take precautions against mosquitoes and their bites.”

Those precautions include:
*** Reporting DEAD birds to 877-WNV-BIRD (877-968-2473) or online at http://www.westnile.ca.gov. Not all birds will be picked up and tested, but reporting dead birds provides important information for mosquito control efforts.

*** DEFENDING yourself against mosquitoes by using a repellent with an effective active ingredient such as DEET, Picaridin or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus. Make sure to follow label directions.

*** DRAINING all sources of standing water that may support mosquito-breeding habitats. Residential sources, such as neglected swimming pools, can be a big producer of mosquitoes in Contra Costa County.

*** Making sure DOOR and window screens fit tight and are in good repair. This will prevent mosquitoes from entering your home.

*** Vaccinating your horses. Horses are highly susceptible to West Nile virus – approximately half of the horses that get West Nile virus die or have to be euthanized.

*** Avoiding DAWN and DUSK times when outdoors since this is when mosquitoes are most active.

*** DRESSING appropriately by wearing long sleeves and pants when outdoors and mosquitoes are present.

People wishing to be notified about adult mosquito fogging or spraying in residential areas have several options. They may visit the District’s website at http://www.ccmvcd.dst.ca.us and opt to receive the notifications automatically by e-mail; they can view information directly on the District’s website at http://www.ccmvcd.dst.ca.us; or they may phone the District for a recorded message at 925-771-6195.

Contra Costa Mosquito & Vector Control District, a 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 or horse troughs. Fish are also available at the Antioch Corporation Yard located at 1201 W. 4th Street in Antioch.

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 website at http://cchealth.org.

For information concerning West Nile virus and horses, please call the California Department of Food and Agriculture Animal Health Branch at 916-654-1447.

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