Dead bird in Alamo tests positive for West Nile | August 14, 2009 | Danville Express | |

Danville Express

Newsfront - August 14, 2009

Dead bird in Alamo tests positive for West Nile

A dead bird found in Alamo tested positive for West Nile virus, it was announced Monday morning by the Contra Costa Mosquito and Vector Control District. Also testing positive were another dead bird from Brentwood and two groups of mosquitoes from Antioch.

The Alamo bird, reported on July 21, was found near Serafix Road and Livorna Road. The Brentwood bird was reported on Aug. 4, the same day the virus-positive mosquitoes were collected.

Due to the high number of adult mosquitoes and the detection of West Nile virus in the area, the Contra Costa Mosquito and Vector Control District fogged Antioch and East Oakley by truck to control adult mosquitoes. "Our technicians continue to work diligently, especially in these areas where people may become infected from mosquitoes with the virus," said Deborah Bass, spokeswoman for the District. "But, it's important to remember that West Nile virus is endemic to Contra Costa County, and California for that matter, and to take the necessary precautions."

This report brings the total of West Nile virus-positive vectors this year in Contra Costa County to 16 groups of mosquitoes and 15 dead birds. According to the state health department's Web site, there has been one human case of West Nile virus in the county this year, a 66-year-old woman.

Residents are urged to wear mosquito repellents with the ingredients DEET, Picaridin or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus. The public is also 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, said Bass; 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 1 percent of infected individuals will require hospitalization. The elderly and those with compromised immune systems are most susceptible to illness and death caused by West Nile virus.

Call the Contra Costa Mosquito and Vector Control District to report mosquito problems at 771-6195 or visit its office between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to get free mosquitofish for ornamental ponds or horse troughs. It is located at 155 Mason Circle in Concord.

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