Risk of West Nile Virus Continues in Contra Costa County as More Mosquitoes, Birds & Chickens Test Positive

July 25, 2014 14:00 pm · 10 comments


The Contra Costa Mosquito & Vector Control District confirmed today that four more groups of mosquitoes, five more dead birds, and two more chickens tested positive for West Nile virus.

The following information is from the City of Concord:

The infected mosquitoes were trapped in Discovery Bay last week and again this week. The birds were found in Antioch (2), Brentwood, Concord and Danville. The chickens are from Holland Tract and Oakley. All 2014 West Nile virus activity and locations can be found on the District’s website.

District inspectors fogged for adult mosquitoes in Discovery Bay and Martinez on Monday. No further fogging is planned at this time.

“Wearing mosquito repellent is essential to help reduce the risk of getting the virus through the bite of an infected mosquito,” said the District’s Public Affairs Manager Deborah Bass.

Birds are the reservoir for West Nile virus. The two species of mosquitoes in Contra Costa County capable of transmitting the virus prefer to feed on birds; however, people can become infected when a mosquito bites an infected bird and then a person. West Nile virus symptoms of the mild form include fever, headache, tiredness, body aches, and swollen lymph glands. While the illness can last only a few days, even healthy people have reported being sick for several weeks. West Nile virus of the severe form can be fatal.

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 against mosquitoes by using repellents containing DEET, Picaridin, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.
  • Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are present, typically dawn and dusk.
  • Report neglected swimming pools by calling 925-771-6195 or visiting www.ContraCostaMosquito.com Anonymous calls accepted. Just one neglected pool 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, even if the bird does not meet criteria for testing.

Since 2005, 47 people in Contra Costa County have been diagnosed with West Nile virus. In 2006, two people died from the disease. Recent studies have shown that the majority of cases are not diagnosed and are grossly underreported. For 2014, a total of seven groups of mosquitoes, six chickens and 19 dead birds have tested positive for the virus.

Visit the District’s website or click on these links for current West Nile virus activity or to receive automatic emails for when the District fogs for adult mosquitoes.

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 their office between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to get FREE mosquito-fish for ornamental ponds, horse troughs or neglected swimming pools.

Sacto Rob July 25, 2014 at 2:27 PM

Birds and chickens? Huh.

Just womdering July 25, 2014 at 3:54 PM

So if a mosquito is infected with the virus, does it get sick too?

Anonymous July 25, 2014 at 4:08 PM

Cynic is now invited to instruct us on how this is all incorrect.

Just womdering July 25, 2014 at 4:11 PM

Oops, just wondering.

Dawg July 25, 2014 at 4:59 PM

Spray your chickens with mosquito repellent.

just a concordian July 25, 2014 at 5:03 PM

I think mosquitoes have too short a life to get sick. That or they have build up some form of immunity.
Seems to me the whole thing is a conspiracy between mosquitoes, birds and the virus to depopulate the Earth of people. Anyone with inside info care to comment?

Frank July 25, 2014 at 6:42 PM

Seems to me that if recent studies have shown that the majority of cases are not diagnosed and are grossly underreported, it is not really a big deal to get West Nile Virus. Come on, two people died in 2006 and we have a county tax on every household to support its detection and irradication? Why, exactly. Because there would be an epidemic of slightly unwell people?

It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

@Frank, #7-------It might make more sense if you were one of those who died July 25, 2014 at 8:54 PM

or got seriously ill. That’s ill, like having to spend several days in the hospital, and spending several thousands of dollars for medical care.

EdiBirsan July 25, 2014 at 9:04 PM

@Just Wondering
Some diseases are not dangerous to the carrier, like malaria that is also spread by mosquitos, or yellow fever etc.

J July 26, 2014 at 11:11 AM

Thats a very good question frank. And i will tell you the awnser.. Thats true west nile hasnt made a tremendous impact on lives in co co county. And that is because we pay the tax for the ccmvcd to be here… Now if they werent here to stop mosquitoes from breeding the virus outbreak would be HUGE. Not only would west nile thrive but many other diseases as well. The sheer annoyance of mosquitoes is more than enough to make the tax worth it.. Have you ever live on a street where someone wasnt taking care of their pool? Or seen a mosquito infested marsh or creek or lake??? If you had.. Then you would know why its worth the tax.

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