BRENTWOOD (CBS SF) — A group of mosquitoes and several dead birds found throughout Contra Costa County have tested positive for the West Nile virus in recent weeks, Contra Costa County Mosquito and Vector Control District officials said Tuesday.
Three dead American Crows found in Antioch, Brentwood and San Ramon tested positive for the virus along with a chicken and a group of mosquitoes in the Holland Tract, an area near Brentwood, district officials said.
“This is not surprising given the amount of West Nile virus activity in our neighboring counties right now,” district spokeswoman Deborah Bass said.
“West Nile virus is extremely active and our message is – take precautions against mosquito bites seriously,” she said.
Those precautions include wearing mosquito repellent while outdoors and avoiding being outside at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most prevalent, Bass said.
Residents are also encouraged to dump any standing water, since mosquitoes are drawn to it, and to report any neglected or abandoned swimming pools.
As a precaution, district crews will fog parts of Martinez early Wednesday morning after a large number of adult mosquitoes were found in the area.
While most people who become infected with West Nile virus do not show any symptoms, some people can experience a range of symptoms including fever, head and body aches, fatigue, vomiting, diarrhea and rash.
Since 2005, 47 people in Contra Costa County have been diagnosed with the illness. In 2006, two of those people died, according to Bass.
The public is urged to report dead birds, which can then be tested for the virus, to the state hotline at (877) 968-2473 or at www.westnile.ca.gov.
Residents can also report neglected swimming pools at (925) 771-6195.
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